Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Four": two sides of a family, two relationships in a small town; including a pairing of a black "business man" and a graduating teen; also the major short "Lucky Blue"

Four” may seem like a gay “Tyler Perry” movie of sorts.  Directed and screenwritten by Joshua Sanchez, and based on a play by Christopher Shinn, the film, set on a Fourth of July weekend in a small town in upstate New York, explores four characters in two interconnected relationships.

The lead is Joe (Wendell Pierce), an overweight African-American, has taken leave of his family, a teen daughter Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) left to care for her mother (Yolonda Ross) who seems to be mysteriously and sadly wasting away.  Joe, however, wants to discover himself, as he courts a gay teen (probably just graduated from high school), “June” (Emory Cohen), who was given that name after being born prematurely, after the month when he should have appeared.  June, quite attractive, has not told his family that he is gay, and seems shy and serious. 

The movie counterpoints Joe’s courtship of June with Abigayle’s own relationship with Dexter (E. J. Boilla).    I found it hard to believe that June would “want” Joe unless the tables were turned, and June were the more aggressive partner in the courtship.

Though relatively gentle, the movie is down to earth.  The characters, while sometimes seeming cultured, and still pretty earthy, with blue collar vices like smoking.


The official site is here.  It is available as DVD and Instant from Netflix.  The film is of modest lemgth (76 minutes).

For today's short film, try the Swedish film "Lucky Blue" (2007, 28 min, by Hakon Liu).  A shy boy, who helps his parents run a karaole dance business, is won over by an even gentler but oddly charismatic guest (both characters are about 18).;   A blue parakeet who escapes holds the plot togther; With Tobias Bengtsson and Tom Lifterud.  

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