After Brian Jordan Alvarez made his delightful web series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, and before he hit the mainstream playing Jack’s new husband Estefan Gloria in Will and Grace he created this rather compelling love story in 2017. Alvarez wrote, directed, edited, starred in and even wrote the some of the music for Everything Is Free, And he surrounded himself with many of the same actors he had cast in Caleb Gallo.
The plot line is something so many gay men can easily relate too i.e.. falling in love with one of your straight friends, and Alvarez’s character Ivan, who had habit of doing this, finally got in too deep which he would come to regret.
Ivan is an ex-pat American artist living a rather charmed life in Colombia when his best friend Christian (Peter Vack) and his brother Cole (Morgan Krantz) come to stay. The siblings are both straight and very quickly pick up a couple of girls that they bring back to the house to have sex with. However despite this blatent display of their hetrosexuality there is a very definite frisson between Cole and Ivan.
Cole tentatively makes the first move but he very hesitantly draws out his flirtation with Ivan who very quickly is becoming besotted with him. When they finally get physical with each other it’s clear that the passion between them is mutual.
During the day when they all hang out together with the two girls they met when they first arrived, Cole falls back into the role of a girl-crazy young man that is expected of him, especially by his overprotective brother. It is when Christian discovers what the two men have been slinking around on the downlow have really been up to, he goes totally ballistic. So much so that when Ivan confronts Cole he retracts everything that has happened between them insisting that he is not gay and that he was only experimenting.
Alvarez tells this story well in such a easily relatable manner, but then he insists on it not ending in a predictable fashion and gives us an unexpected plot twist to complete his story.
There is something extremely refreshing having such a talented creative gay man like Alvarez make an authentic reality of a fairly regular gay man’s dilemma into an intriguing and compelling film. He is a great storyteller (and actor too) and completely unafraid to bare his soul and his very trim body too.
Kudos for not just surrounding himself with a talented cast but also proving that he can totally helm a movie and play all these roles effectively so that the end result is something that will resound so very loudly with LGBTQ audineces everywhere ….. and even straight ones too. We are very anxious to see what he follows this with.