The M.O. of M.I. (The Modus Operandi of Male Intimacy)
Iíve decided that I am very shallow. I think this film has the most beautiful actor in Iíve ever seen called David Christopher. To be honest, he could have just stared at the camera for two hours and Iíve have said this was a good movie. Seriously, you could watch him watch paint dry. However, Iím glad to say that this movie was considerably better than that. It is a reasonable thriller. I donít say greatówith only $200,000 and 18 days to make it in, you canít flesh out plot and characters; something has to give. The plot is rather confusing and curves come not because of clever writing but because you feel major scenes must have been left out. That aside, the acting is good throughout. The three main characters, Michael, Tom and Jonathon are all very believable.
What I felt the movie really lacked was believability that these men could be passionate enough or angry enough to do what they do (David Christopher aside, who plays his character as a man totally on the edge of sanityóitís an amazing performance.) It lacks grit. It badly lacks sex! Itís called the M.O. of M.I. (the modus operandi of male intimacy) and maybe thatís exactly what they set out to show: intimacyórather than sex. But Michael and Tom are portrayed as being in an 8-month relationship, which therefore counts as very long-term and cosy. Michael even refers to Tom as his husband. Itís vital for the wider plot that they havenít been together for more than that, but it just didnít work for me. At 8-months in, arenít most couples in the throws of passion still? Jonathon comes into their house as an unwanted guest, and youíre supposed to believe that heís like a virtual hand-grenade in the relationship, but it just isnít intense enough (except for David Christopher, who is totally believable. Whoops. Have I already mentioned him?).
This movie is edging closer to this elusive perfect gay movie that Iím looking for. It has gorgeous men who can act. It has a reasonable plot. It just stays a little too much in the mainstream for me.
Especially to watch David Christopher† !
A slick and clever thriller where nothing, and no one, is what it appears. A gay film thatís not afraid to show gay characters with human failings, venal and on the make.† Yet finding love in unexpected places.† Set in Austin, Texas, which makes a refreshing change from LA or NYC.
Michael & Tom are a gay married couple, idyllically together 8 months, and counting.† Then Jonathan, performance artist at a local theatre, enters their life, turning cosy domesticity into soap opera style jealousy and recrimination.†
Jonathan is gorgeous.† Really.† A total hunk, all chiselled jaw, intense, bedroom eyes and sexy stubble.† Of course heís also a hustler and probably a thief.† But with looks like his, whoís gonna notice?†
Jonathan decides to move in with Michael & Tom.† Within minutes heís feeling up Michael, who resists, manfully.† ĎCause heís got the true love life partnership thing going with cute as a button young Tom.† Whoís swishy, immature and shallow.† But heís a nice guy.† You feel his pain.
While Michael visibly struggles with temptation, Tom does the jealous wife routine, flouncing and sulking around the house, much to Jonathanís amusement.† Heís not into the Susie Homemaker routine.† Or so he says.† Heís got a saturnine grin and twinkling baby blues thatíd melt permafrost.†
A briefcase stolen then dumped by Jonathan turns out to be important.† Some rather heavy goons want it back.†
Interspersed with all this weíre treated to Jonathanís theatrical monologues, intense interpretations of his experiences and encounters.† And the goons debate whether a performance artist is the same as an actor.† Seriously.† Itís that kind of film.
So, Michael has a calculating, trashy hustler sleeping on his couch, and his husband ain't happy.† It turns out Jonathan has information on Michael that he'd rather no one else knew about.† Trouble, with a capital T, and a whole lot of twists that just keep on coming right to the end, when various chickens come home to roost and we find out just how much Michael really loves Tom.† And what Jonathonís role is in the whole affair.
Itís smart and sexy, and plays mercilessly with its audience.† There are flashes of nudity but the sex is of the discreet, under a duvet variety.†
To be honest I wouldnít have cared whether the film was any good or not.† Iíd quite happily have sat through an hour and a half of rubbish to gaze upon the beauty of David Christopher (Jonathan).† So it was definitely a bonus that the story managed to distract me from goggling at the stud.†
Iíd recommend this one, for sure.† Complex plot that keeps you guessing, and handsome guy.† What more do you need?† Make sure you keep watching through the end credits for extra scenes that help complete the picture.