Sunday, February 9th, 2020

Straight Up : one man’s heartbreaking tale of self-discovery


Todd (james Sweeney) is a precocious millennial with his rapid firing conversation which is fuelled by his insistence to overthink every single little detail. He’s confused about many things, particularly his sexuality.  We think he is  just a gay man who hasn’t figured that out for himself.  Yet despite all his neuroises he is still disarmingly charming and cute to boot.

He meets Rory (Kate Findlay) his match and soulmate at the Library and they immediately become fast friends. Rory had come to Hollywood to become a star, but so far she has failed to book any acting roles, and  cannot even hang on to her waitressing job.  She can blurt out what’s wrong (and even sometimes right) with her life at a speed that seems even faster than Todd’s.

They are obviously destined to be together but they just need to sort out as what.  Broke and jobless Rory accepts Todd’s invitation to share his house-sitting gig in some Hollywood mansion, and she ends up sharing his bed too.  Both are anxious to try to take their relationship out of the friends zone and on to a romantic level, but they first have to overcome one very big obstacle which they both identify as the elephant in the room.  I.e. sex,  

Todd tried unsuccessfully to lose his virginity once before but that was so disastrous he seems scarred for life.  The main problem is that he hates all bodily fluids plus he abhors the whole idea of anal sex.

They try to adopt the official roles of boyfriend and girlfriend despite the fact they have still failed to consummate their relationship.  Their friends are in total disbelief that they could sustain this long term with the abstinence of sex.  Particularly Todd’s rather hot gay friend Ryder (james Scully) who is still carrying a torch for him.

Todd’s world weary therapist seems more interested in getting paid than in actually helping him come to any conclusions about his psyche and enable him to jump off the fence.

The script is witty and very funny as it leads Todd and Rory in ever decreasing circles until eventually Rory moves out.  She had little choice as despite the remarkable chemistry they had, at the end of the day, having no-sex was a no brainer for her.

The actual ending was the one weak part of the story which seemed like a cop out on Sweeney’s part. This his writing/directing debut however is still extremely impressive and  very clearly indicates that this talented young filmmaker has a great future ahead.

We are guessing that the film could easily be based on Sweeney;s own life as it was both very compelling, and even more important, very authentic too.  There has been such a trend recently with films dealing with issues/stories that concern gender dysphoria and acceptance, that now perhaps we may start seeing themes that covers tales placed somewhere on the sexuality spectrum. Or even off it completely.

In Straight Uo Sweeney gives us such an intriguing and very amusing insight into his millennial take on certain things  which may be the same scenarios that we face, but he refreshingly deals with them in his very own way. 

We are now deeply intrigued as to what to expect now from this very funny young after his must-see debut.

Posted by queerguru  at  16:35



Genres:  coming of age, rom-com

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