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COFFEE DATE: Great Movie!! GAY interest !! Year: 2007
Coffee Date, written and directed by Stewart Wade, is a cute confection about a gender-confused blind date that goes awry. Straight boy Todd, played by soap star Jonathan Bray, is 35 and rebounding from an ugly divorce. Casually but stylishly dressed, he is getting ready for a blind date he made on the internet. He tells Barry, his slob of a brother (who is sleeping on his couch), that he's on his way to his coffee date with Kelly. Barry posted the ad online for Todd and asks "You didn't exchange pictures, did you?"
Todd winds up at a gay coffeehouse called Romancing The Bean, sharing a small table with a hot young Latino (The Real Life's Wilson Cruz) who is also waiting for his Internet date. It doesn't take long for the audience to realize that brother Barry was playing a joke and posted Todd's ad on an M4M site. The trouble is, they bonded online over a love of film and the two men, thinking they are waiting for their dates, begin to talk about movies and find that they have a lot in common.
Todd overcomes his initial gay panic attack and makes friends with the guy. When they finally realize that they are each other's dates, they laugh it off, each vowing to exchange pictures next time. Then suddenly Todd asks Kelly if he wants to go to an Ingmar Bergman double feature with him - he says that he's not asking him out on a date, he would just like to see the films with him. And then Todd gets revenge on his brother and freaks him out by bringing Kelly home and taking him into his bedroom - where they both convulse with laughter after they shut the door.
So far so good. The situation is contrived but it is comic and the chemistry and timing of the actors is priceless. But Coffee Date has been expanded from a short film, a festival favorite, that was just the coffeehouse blind date scene. What works as a one act short doesn't always lend itself to be expanded into a full length film. Just look at most of the movies made out of Saturday Night Live skits (It's Pat! anyone?).The material is too thin and the movie winds up being a sitcom.
Barry calls their mother to tell her that Todd's gay and suddenly she flies in to be with her son at this critical time. Mom is in shock but she does her best Sharon Gless from Queer as Folk by being all lovey-dovey and joining PFLAG. The trouble is, she just won't believe Todd when he insists that he is not gay. Ditto for his brother and suddenly all his co-workers think he's gay too. Finally Todd begins to question it as well and wonders if he should sleep with Kelly in order to find out once and for all.
Farces usually work best when the cast is wearing 18th century frockcoats and powdered wigs while slamming doors at a fever pitch. Contemporary farces seldom work (unless the author is perhaps Joe Orton) and, unfortunately, Coffee Date turns into a so-so episode of Will and Grace or Friends expanded to feature length. One third act "surprise" is just too ludicrous to be believable. But there are charms along the way and a likable cast. Wilson Cruz gets top billing and his is the standout performance. He looks great too. Jonathan Bray as Todd comes across as a studlier version of Will Farrell. Their scenes together elevate the film.
What if your good-for-nothing brother set you up on a hot date and got the gender wrong…or did he? Todd (Jonathan Bray), a straight guy, goes to work every day and then comes home with nary a date on the horizon. That is, until his goofy brother, Barry (Jonathan Silverman), sets him up on his very first internet get-together, a coffee date with a hottie named Kelly. Todd gets to the café and the only unattached person there is a gay guy...guess what: his name is Kelly (Wilson Cruz of "My So-Called Life" and "Noah's Arc"). After a brief, clumsy realization that a straight guy has been set up with a gay guy, the two men hit it off as friends. To get retaliation against his brother, Todd and Kelly head back to the house and hold hands in front of the mystified brother. Their joke works as Barry summons Mom (Sally Kirkland) in for the new family crisis. Mom decides that she loves her gay son and joins PFLAG. Most amused is Todd's gay co-worker Clayton (out comedian/actor Jason Stuart) who's fianlly got his evidence that Todd is officially gay. As word spreads that he is "openly gay" and has a nice gay lover, the situation spins hilariously out of control and nothing Todd says can convince people otherwise. Yet he prefers his new best friend Kelly's company; maybe he is gay after all?
-------------------------------- Scott Cranin
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-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- SPECIAL SHORT FILM: Touched (25 min.) -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Philadelphia's gay nightlife provides the set for this tender tale between two men looking for something else besides what is culturally provided. The story of what transpires when Mike, a sex-starved, middle-aged gay man, gives the bars one last try. Touched is a quiet, spiritual tale of connection as two lives are changed forever.
The story of what transpires one night when Michael, a 52 year old middle-aged gay man who is desperate for companionship, makes the impulsive decision to give "the gay bars" one last try. "Touched" is a quiet, spiritual tale of loneliness, desperation and connection as two lives collide and are changed forever.
Anyway old Michael meets this 24 yr old loner, who's queer and questioning, also named Michael, in the bar, off they go back to Michael's place. But the loner has evil thoughts in mind, for old Mike.
One would think, the director could have come up with a more original name for the hustler, than a sucky name like Michael, a bricklayer by trade, how about Eddie? Now that's sounds like a rough trade's name.
Interesting twist to end of movie which, I found quite sad and moving. There are a lot of emotions in this one short, particularly concerning the middle-aged male. His agenda is to just "touch" someone out of loneliness, to be with someone, if only for an encounter. What happens when the two men reach out to each other is very powerful. Based on a true story. Directed by Mike Lemon, Ridley Park Pictures.
Winner Audience Award, Best Short Film, Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival