a film by Marco Berger
2009 | 103 mins | Argentina
›› Plan B
a captivating exploration of male friendship and sexuality.
Plan B by Marco Berger This is one of those slow burning films that you are either going to love or hate and personally I loved it, having been drawn into the emotional life of man-about-town Bruno.

Namely a happy heterosexual who succumbs to jealousy when he finds himself dumped by his girlfriend Laura, in favour of local cutie Pablo. Determined to get his girl back full time, as opposed to her part time return visits for acts of sexual intimacy, his initial Plan A soon turns into Plan B when he learns of Pablo’s rumoured bisexual nature. Setting himself up as the homosexual fall guy, Bruno is soon to be seen courting the attention of Pablo, playing on his interests to get closer to him with the intent on causing trouble. Only what’s a macho Latino to do if in the process, he finds himself falling in love with his girlfriend's boyfriend?

Plan B by Marco Berger Written and directed by Marco Berger, this global charmer has a lot going for it, even if it is far from being picture-perfect. Clearly made on a limited budget and here cue the use of some unappealing, if gritty backdrops, Berger notably has the annoying habit of using untrimmed takes, the result of which whether intentional or not, is a series of scenes beginning with lights, camera but no action. That said, into a poignant mix Berger delights in showcasing a work full of subtle expressions, that together with telling glances, see the two men share the same bed, kiss each other, dropping in the odd tongue along the way; in short, doing all the things that straight men do with each other ... or perhaps not.

Then again, this is but a captivating exploration of male friendship and sexuality, as Manuel Vignau as Bruno and Lucas Ferraro as Pablo vividly undergo a series of life changing, if not sexuality defining experiences. Neither of the characters perceive themselves as gay, but it is their reaction to their special bond that dominates this feature, emotions that are as strong, as they are confusing to them. It is a work devoid of homophobia, with its compelling theme of love is love found in the words of support from their friends.

That said, I dare say for some Berger's unhurried approach to storytelling defines the genre that is art house cinema, in particular with regard to his repeated use of cut-ins of the building variety. To me however, that’s the beauty of this feature, that of a totally engaging and quite beautiful to watch laidback work that captures the inner feelings and very essence of a relationship, developing naturally. That of a bromance beyond the call of duty, culminating in scenes of the two men sleeping next to each other being as believable, as the endless shots of the pair stripped down to their underwear, not that we’re talking about designer labels here. Nor for that matter are we dealing with West Hollywood styled physiques, ripped bodies that whilst sensual to look at, would have been out of place in a touching story such as this, namely a remarkably realistic depiction of two men falling in love, twist in the tale style. Love is where the heart is, indeed.

Gay Visibility - covert to overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 
available on DVD as part of the Network Releasing catalogue 13.09.2010
screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2010
starring: Manuel Vignau / Bruno, Lucas Ferraro / Pablo, Mercedes Quinteros as Laura with
Damián Canduci / Victor, Ana Lucia Antony / Ana, Carolina Stegmayer / Verónica,
Antonia De Michelis / Madre Victor and Ariel Nuñez Di Croce as Javier.
official website: www.ohmygomez.com/planb
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #341
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