When Love Comes
I really enjoyed this movie, despite fearing, from reviews I’d read, that it was going to be a complete duffer. I enjoyed all the interweaving stories, too, which is unusual for me, especially when they are heterosexual or, god forbid, lesbian—and they are both in this story.
The lead men in this story are perfectly cast: the blond surfer, Mark, and the slightly older man, Stephen, fearing he will never find love. Stephen particularly really stole this film for me. He’s handsome, yet has that edge of vulnerability or femininity that women seem to find irresistible. He’s been paying Mark for sex, but then falls into the trap of loving him. Mark, scarred by his life, can’t let go and allow himself to fall for Stephen. Their story gets complicated by the return to her native land of a singing sensation, Katie. Is she preparing for new hit number one show in the States, or is she washed up and running scared? Throw in a couple of wacky lesbians, who narrate the story, and you’ve got the perfect vehicle for a complete dud—as many reviews have found it. However, how anyone could not leave this film with a huge grin on their face defies me. Perhaps it’s the irresistible romantic in me. Perhaps it’s seeing two gorgeous men falling in love and making it work despite the enormous odds against them. Perhaps I was just seduced by the most amazing New Zealand beach scenery.
This is a film for those of who still weep at Bambi. If you’ve got a soft heart, and lots of soft spots for gorgeous blond surfers with hypnotic eyes, I think you’ll love it.
I didn’t get this film at first. I only kept watching because the young male lead Dean O’Gorman is gorgeous, long curly blond hair and piercing blue/green eyes. And slowly I was drawn in.
The story, set in Auckland, is told by a couple of grungy lesbian musicians whose friend is aforementioned hunk, Mark. He’s a messed up songwriter who spends most of the time drunk and/or stoned out of his mind struggling to come to terms with his sexuality after becoming involved with a charming older man, Steve, he met as a hustler.
Okay, few points for originality, and generally reviews for this movie haven’t been flattering, but it’s got something going for it beyond the novel NZ setting.
There’s an ageing diva who’s come home to reassess her life. She stays with Steve because they’re old friends from way back, two queens together. They commiserate with each other about how hard it is to reconcile hopes & dreams with reality.
Steve likes to read trashy romantic novels while he waits for young Mark to accept who he is. But Mark appears to be in a downward spiral of self-destruction, afraid he can’t love anyone. Of course his main problem is that he doesn’t love himself. Which means he can’t get close to Steve because of what that means. Paid-for sex is fine but intimacy & affection a no-go.
Mark and the diva are in roughly parallel lines, both afraid to commit but aware the life they have isn’t the one they want. Steve knows what he wants and is willing to wait until Mark comes around, too much the gentleman to force the issue. Or maybe he knows he’d only push the boy away.
Steve & Mark had sex in the past but things are now too complicated. They both want it, badly, but it’s not going to happen until Mark sorts himself out. Meanwhile he writes intense songs to express the hurt inside, and kills the pain with alcohol & drugs.
The lesbian duo keeps things jolly, and their music is actually rather good. The diva it turns out has a rich boyfriend back in the States, and the real reason she’s in NZ gets revealed round a blazing fire on the beach one night when various truths are confronted head-on.
It’s far from perfect, but if you’re in the right mood you might enjoy the film, if nothing else for the eye-candy. Mark it has to be said is more convincing as a debauched fallen angel and the ending stretches credulity a tad all round- the diva’s American boyfriend is out of Mills & Boon. But sometimes I like to let my romantic side win out over the cynic.
Okay, I admit I kept watching because I hoped we’d see O’Gorman naked and in a sexy clinch. You’ll have to watch it yourself to find out if I went to bed happy.