Monday, August 12, 2013

"The Men Next Door": rather contrived comedy about gay father and son

The Men Next Door” is a gay situation comedy that comes across to me as “opera bouffe” without (much) music. 
Doug (Eric Dean) experiences his fortieth birthday.  His smoothness keeps him from resembling Steve Carell (“The Forty Year Old Virgin”) too much.  But he befriends a neighbor Colton (Benjamin Lutz), although maybe not efficiently, when he tells Colton that Colton should wax (there’s a little bit of chest scraggle, hardly visible without BluRay.)  Soon, Doug meets Colton’s dad Jacob (Michael Nicklin), who is 50, and now, it turns out, is gay himself.  Oh, yes, Colton has a straight brother.   In time, Doug has to make a choice, as he can’t date them separately forever.  His decision may indeed show the end of lookism.

There is a little room for seriousness in the backstory. Dad has to explain why he got married and had kids to begin with.  It often happens. 
A variety of other characters pop in to the Doug’ Valley home.  (The area rather looks like Woodland Hills, as I remember it.)  The 84-minute film, by Rob Williams (no relation to Robin) has a lot of short takes and shifts that don’t exactly work for me.
The official site (Guest House Films and Wolfe) is here
The film went so far as to be as lighthearted as possible that it seemed to drift away.  I watched it o Netflix instant video.

If you take the title and change “Men” back to singular, you get a title that sounds like it would belong to film noir.  But not this film. 

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