Fourth Man Out (DIR. Andrew Nackman)
In many ways, director Andrew Nackman’s first feature length film is a typical “bro comedy”. The central characters are a group of blue-collar men who have been friends since childhood it, and the film emphasizes the value of male friendships. Fourth Man Out focuses on a small-town car mechanic named Adam (Evan Todd) who decides on his twenty-fourth birthday to come out as gay to his three best friends.
The film is more subversive than it initially appears and its lighthearted attempts to explore contemporary ideas of masculinity, though far from perfectly executed, are its saving grace. Using the “bro comedy” sub-genre as a platform for examining queer masculinity and questioning the gender boxes that we place people in based on sexuality is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, many of the tropes of the genre are still present. The female characters, in particular, are painfully underdeveloped. In addition, the movie is littered with coming out clichés and many of the jokes feel flat and forced.
Fourth Man Out is a film about learning to accept people for who they are that is clearly aimed at a straight male audience that might be otherwise uncomfortable (or unfamiliar with) queer identities and issues. Let’s hope it hits its mark with audiences.
Catch Fourth Man Out at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival on:
Tuesday, May 26 at 9:30 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Nasty Baby (DIR. Sebastián Silva)
Sebastián Silva (Magic Magic, Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus) returns with Nasty Baby, a loosely structured character drama based around the complications of a homosexual couple trying to conceive a child in New York City. The filmmaker also wrote the semi-autobiographical screenplay and stars as Freddy, a performance artist who’s new exhibit showcases various people channeling infantile behaviour.
Freddy and his partner David (played by Tunde Adebimpe) desire a bigger family, and they gain assistance from their friend Polly (played by Kristen Wiig). However, when sperm counts are low, family members disagree, and the noisy bum a few apartments below won’t stop being a nuisance, bringing a baby into the world can be tough.
Before the movie jumps the shark (and you’ll know it when it does), movie goers will believe the performances in Nasty Baby. However, when Silva conveys the emotions with mumbly restraint, it’s hard not to question if the film is going anywhere. The film appears very natural with its free-hand cinematography, but the shapeless nature affects the narrative, which is in dire need of guidance. If Silva stayed behind the camera, maybe he could’ve offered more control.
As for that bamboozling third act, we wonder if Nasty Baby has flown off the rails, or if the additional dysfunction gives the film depth. The jury will be out forever. Nonetheless, Silva’s ambition will stimulate lots of conversation.
Catch Nasty Baby at Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival on:
Saturday, May 23 at 10:00 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Click here for more festival details and to buy tickets.
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie
Shannon Page: @ShannonEvePage