Under One Roof
Iíve read some really bad reviews for this movie, and wasnít expecting much. I donít understand some people. You have two cute guys, a good plot and some very nice action (lots of frontal nudity, although not from the two leads) yet people still complain! Sure, the acting from some of the supporting characters is a bit weak (but, believe me, Iíve seen so much worse now). The sets are a bit ďtinnyĒ and basically there is only one Ė but these really are quite minor criticisms. Why not focus on the good points? This is a nicely built romance, which is really quite touching.
Daniel is a Chinese-American gay man, living with his mother and grandmother and still in the closet. Robert, an openly gay man, moves in as his tenant. They are immediately attracted to each other and when Robertís apartment gets flooded, he moves upstairs with Daniel and family. Ironically, itís Danielís motheróso keen to get her only child well marriedóthat pushes them together by insisting that Robert sleep in Danielís bed.
Daniel is torn between this love for Robert and his duty to his family.
The relationship between Robert and Daniel is really well playedóparticularly from James Marks, who is very cute (much more so than comes over on the cover of the film). There is some lovely flirting, looks and some yummy first kisses. The sex is sexy without being graphicóI particularly liked their orgasms shown by the movement of feet and legs: Iíve not seen that before and it was very effectiveÖ.
There are some really amusing moments. I particularly liked the Chinese grandmother, who speaks no English and who finds one of Danielís gay porn videos.
Give this one a go. Donít expect Oscars for the technical crew, but let your cynicism go and just enjoy the love affair.
Daniel Chang has a problem. His devoted mother wants him to get married and give her a grandson.† He has no life of his own, only a fantasy of a hot hunk to share his showerÖand bed.
Then charming Indiana farmboy, Robert, moves into the little apartment downstairs.† Danielís best buddy, Tony, inspects the lodgerís stuff for gayness and pronounces Danielís gaydar operational.† Tony is an unapologetic slut, a bleached blond gayboy.† Daniel on the other hand is crippled by his smothering mother.
Itís not that he hasnít had boyfriends.† Just never Mr. Right.† Is Robert worth breaking Danielís number one rule, gay life strictly outside the home?
When Daniel returns from a trip to San Diego heís startled to discover Robert in his room.† A small plumbing problem downstairs.† Daniel figures heíll be fine if he sleeps on the couch.†
Poor Robert suffers cultureshock.† While Daniel struggles with temptation.†† He does really well until an impromptu dancing lesson in the living room.† Then his motherís insistence on watching latenight TV drives Daniel back into his own room to share a bed with Robert.†
Things heat up in the romance stakes.†† Danielís mother loves Robert like a son.†† But Daniel still canít tell her the truth.† So itís stopwatch quickies and much tension.†† Can Robert stand to be in the closet with Daniel?† He didnít come to San Francisco to hide.† Can their relationship stand the strain?† Does Daniel love Robert enough to choose him over his mother?† No big trauma, but plenty of tension.
Itís a tale of divided loyalty, love and longing.† Thereís one character I havenít mentioned yet, Danielís wise old grandmother, who hardly says a word of English and knows everything thatís going on.† Sheís just great. Danielís mother loves her son, wants him to be happy, not alone.† She hasnít accepted Daniel is an adult who must make his own choices, but she means well.†
Thereís lots of full frontal nudity, very natural, and though sex is discreet, the film has some nice erotic scenes .† Thereís great chemistry between the actors playing Daniel & Robert.† They look like a couple in love and lust, laughing and playful.† A couple of ordinary gay guys, attractive but not studs.
Itís a feelgood movie with a lot of humour.†† I had no expectations, maybe a good thing.† I commend the positive gay story with realistic role models.† Daniel is gay but the story could apply equally to a straight guy/girl trying to break from a traditional background.† Daniel has the support of family and friends.† Heís a well adjusted chap.† Except for his fear of hurting his mother by revealing the truth.† His inner conflict translates well, thanks to a fine performance by Jay Wong.† His relationship with his onscreen mother is beautifully done, like theyíre real family.† James Marks as Robert is boy-next-door cute and caring.† Theyíre a perfect match.†
I really liked this film.† Itís short, at about 74 minutes.† The characters are likeable, their situation realistic, and we care what happens to them.† If youíre in the mood for gentle loving across a cultural divide, give it a go.† Make sure and watch the end credits too.
Buy Under One Roof (REGION 1) (NTSC) from Amazon here