Troubled TV personality Steven Evans struggles to find meaning in his life in the face of the superficial world he has created. Smothered by celebrity and materialism, Steven’s only respite is through solitary visits to the ocean and shallow sexual encounters with the acquaintances that orbit his life. When his long-term partner hurls him headfirst into fatherhood, Steven’s initial reluctance is gradually replaced with love, as he discovers, in his new family, a bond stronger than any he has experienced before. But the return of an unexpected visitor triggers off a series of events that thrusts Steven and his family into a cycle of loneliness, self-destruction and grief.
Steven Evans is a very hot property. He is the Host of Australia’s most popular daily primetime TV Game Show which has brought him all the trappings of fame. This total charmer is admired by men and adored by women but he has a secret that he shares only with Alex his biggest fan. It’s no surprise to us though as this rather compelling melodrama opens with two minutes of these handsome naked men making very passionate love. As much as Steven has loved his partner Alex for some years now, he knows that the only way to keep his high-flying career is if he stays completely in the closet.
This deception makes both men continually nervous and unhappy, and they seek different ways to deal with this. Steven sneaks around having meaningless sex with strangers whilst Alex throws himself into the construction project of building their new dream home right on the beach. However during a meeting that both men have with their Architect, Alex out of the blue slips in a request that he changes the design to accommodate a nursery. This bombshell throws Steven off-kilter, but once he eventually realises that Alex is deadly earnest about starting a family, he slowly comes on board with the idea.
The one major snag is that this is all taking place in Australia in the beginning of the new millennium where adoption by same sex couples was illegal (as were gay marriages too). To get around this, Alex’s prayers are answered when he hooks up with pregnant Nerine who is living amongst some junkies in a sketchy part of the City and has no desire to keep her baby. The men can afford to pay her generously so it seems that once Nerine gets over her initial reluctance of dealing with two gay men, both parts will get what they want out of the illegal arrangement.
Everyone should live happily ever after, but a couple of years later when baby Sammy is an integral part of Alex & Steven’s family, Nerine turns up on their doorstep with a very unsavoury companion which kicks of a trail of anger, hurt and grief that seemingly none of them will come through intact.
The movie was directed and produced by renowned Australian theater director Rob Chuter and written by Julia Britton and actor Angus Brown. It was adapted from Miss Britton’s controversial stage play which she first work-shopped back in 2001 when she was already a remarkable 87 years old. It is a story that doesn’t downplay its passion about it’s subject matter, and reminds one that of how very difficult some situations were, and still are, for same sex couples. Since the movie was made in 2009, the Australian Parliament have legalised Adoption and Civil Unions but are still struggling to pass a Bill to allow Gay Marriage.
Chuter cast his movie well, not just because his two leads were buff enough to raise the temperature in their naked sensual lovemaking scenes, but that they are both very talented well-known Australian actors. Graeme Squires who played the moody heartthrob Steven was in the hit Soap Opera ‘Home & Away’ for years, and Nicholas Gunn who was the sensitive home-building Alex cut his teeth on the country’s other major Soap ‘Neighbors’.
Why this very well produced movie with it’s highly emotional story took so long to get a distribution deal is something I am not privy too, but even though it may strike some as tad dated occasionally, it was definitely worth the wait. Highly Reccomended.
P.S. Miss Britton chose her title from a Essay by the 19th Century British writer Charles Lamb.The most striking thing shown in the essay is that Lamb, though a lifelong bachelor, longed for family life which he was incapable of attaining. In a strange fit of passion he imagined all this in a dream-like state. (queertiques.com)