........"How do YOU pronounce 'Happiness'?" (alternate title for this review).
2007 may just be considered a banner year for the release of two excellent gay films: one a romance ("Shelter"), the other ("O-H-D") a romantic comedy; one produced on this side of the Big Pond, one on the other side of that pond. Notably, what they have in common are decent production values, scripted stories that easily hold our interest, and male lead couples who'll keep your dreams alive and well. As for differences, I'll only mention that where "Shelter" takes us on an upliftingly romantic journey, "O-H-D" takes us on a fun-loving, romantic journey. And where the former film gives us that special "B-G-L-M", in the latter film the Brits give us the "B-G-F-I-L-M" (both an indoors and and outdoors one---Wow). Please note that "Shelter" has already been discussed by this reviewer/commenter elsewhere on this site, so I'll now leave with you just a few additional thoughts about this, to me, memorable English production. It so deserves NOT to be underrated/unrecognized.
Starting off with our two leads, we have good looking, blond and devilish Stephen Billington, playing David, who's kinda like that let's-have-a-ball, little boy who hasn't grown up yet. He's "Mr. Fun".......just over from the States, with the main goal of driving Englishman, Jonathan, both crazy and into bed. "J" on the other hand is the tall, hunky, sometimes-afraid-of-letting-loose marketing exec who is our "Mr. Serious" (a leanly well built and gorgeous Christopher Colquhoun). A lot of the fun you're going to have is in watching a smirky-grinning David merrily take him down (and I mean that in a "straight" way--Ha). While it's the sometimes-in-a-dither "J" we spend a little bit more time with, it is actually David who is the solid, hold-it-all-together core of this little duo. As in any relationship picture, there are going to be ups and downs, and these guys are terrific in giving us that back and forth, 'I-can-top-what-you're-doing' thing---while making us feel all the better for it. And if you think they're oh-so-verrry-good in giving us a tiff to remember, it'll be the making up afterward that's the real fun (and here's where that "B-G-F-I-L-M" thing comes in.....it's a real hoot and will have your mind humming because you've become so pleased with what you're watching---it's just one of those memorably happy film moments).
There is a very good supporting cast, everyone of whom it's not possible to mention. BUT........there is a little girl (Poppy) who comes up with a couple of "philosophical zingers" which are a riot and which let us know she's more grown up than any of the rest of them. Oh, oh, and then there's my favorite of the adult, supporting actresses......you know, the gal with the rose on her ass (no, make that 'arse'). (Lol).
Winding down here, my "Best of the Night" award has to go to Director/Writer Ian Poitier who, however he did it, has gotten Billington and Colquhoun to give us some of the best man-on-man "lip-lock" scenes you're going to see outside of gay porn. Way to go, Guys; that's usually the big downfall of other gay mainline films.
Lastly, "Happy M'Buki--M'Vuki" to each and everyone of you out there!
PS--Ah.....the "B-G-F-I-L-M" thing? Okay....well that simply stands for "Big Gay Falling In Love Montage" (thanks, Director Jonah Markowitz).
PPS--Oh.....yeah, and that "Happiness" bit? Dudes---if you can't speak French, you're never gonna get this one (Lol).
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