Reeling Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: Day Seven
We have our eyes on two hump-day offerings for the seventh day of this year's Reeling festival. Exhausted yet?
The documentary Hollywood to Dollywood puts gay twin brothers and budding screenwriters Gary and Larry on a quest to get their script in the hands of country idol Dolly Parton. Raised in North Carolina by a religious family disapproving of their homosexuality, the brothers have relocated to L.A. and our now setting out on a cross country road trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennesse to hand deliver the goods to Parton herself. On the plus side, the brothers have assembled a variety of talking heads like Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Will & Grace star Leslie Jordan who offer spirited commentary that sets the brothers on their way. Also, the film gets a major lift from the Parton catalog which includes no less than 15 outstanding tracks running throughout the film. But much of this documentary plays like a canned reality television show full of anti-climaxes. Will the brothers make it to Dollywood to meet their hero? Um, we're in the middle of a global recession, who really cares? When paired next to the excellent AIDS doc We Were Here, it comes across as shamefully lightweight.
Instead, go see Romeos, a challenging German entry about a young trans-identified twentysomething named Lukas trying to find a place withing the larger queer community while transitioning from female to male. The film is unsparing in throwing heaps of problems Lukas's way including issues of isolation, hormone therapy, bullying, bigotry, acceptance and inner turmoil as he falls in love with a sexy, gay thug named Fabio who is dealing with own inner conflicts. Full of challenging performances by a talented young cast, Romeos is a Reeling winner.