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a short film by Anders Helde.

2015 | 19 mins | US.

the courage to show your best friend your true sexual self.

Dave says:

Have you ever been in the position where your life is seemingly mapped out in front of you? Well, Brandon (Kellan Rhude) is, given he's the star quarterback of his local high school who's all but destined to have a major sporting career ahead of him, namely the "get out of town" card that everyone around him hopes to draw. Trouble is, something is holding him back; that being his close friendship with teammate James (Carson Boatman), only for the man himself to be unable to figure out why Brandon doesn't want to speed his way out of a town that in his view is a place that folk either drive by, or drive through. It's a situation that finds pent-up emotions ready to explode on the night before that all important life-changing game, feelings that can only but show how the two close friends truly feel about each other.

And if all of this kind of sounds familiar, than it could well be, as this is but a re-make by Anders Helde of his earlier 2014 short Forward Motion; same story, with almost the same principal players; albeit for Nicholas Harsin as James playing opposite Rhude in the earlier outing. Yet and in spite of solid production values throughout and some really nice touches, the story itself is in need of some extra time, no pun intended, for character development. For therein lies the Achilles heel of this work, given and in spite of some longing looks from Rhude, the pivotal scene between Brandon and James arrives like a bolt out of the blue, leaving you wondering - just where did that come from?

That said, there's no denying that this well-executed short vividly captures the sheer competitive nature of a sport that for some is not a game, but their raison d'être, as dramatically underlined by Cazimir Milostan who as Coach Barnes is all too keen to give his team that ever rousing pre-match talk. Yet it's the tender and frankly beautifully played moments between the two young men that steal the show and in particular the burgeoning sexuality of a man who must somehow summon the courage to not only leave his home town, but to show his best friend how he openly feels about him and in the process, reveal his true sexual self. Wonderful.

›› available as part of THE AMERICAN BOYS shorts compilation.
›› posted: Saturday, 16th January, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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