Friday, December 21, 2012

Guest Post: Awesome U.S. Gay Movies

Hello, fair readers! And thanks, Sary, for having me on the blog today.

For those of you who don’t know—I write books. Romance books about gay men. As such, I watch a lot of gay movies, and gay-themed television shows.

So: Welcome to my Gay Movie Review blog tour! The tour calendar is at the end of the post, so you can follow along to other stops. As with most blog tours, there’s a prize involved. A randomly selected commenter will win a DVD of my favorite gay movie I’ve watched this year, Weekend, and a free book from my backlist.

On with the blog… In the wide world of gay cinema, I’ve watched more from other countries than I have from the U.S. I’m not sure why, but U.S. gay movies often feel self-consciously artsy to me. However, there are a few U.S. gay films that I’ve sincerely loved. Here they are…

#1: Kiss Me Guido

First off, I have to admit, Kiss Me Guido is old. It’s so old that I rented it from the small, indie video store walking distance from my apartment when I was in my twenties. Released all the way back in 1997, Kiss Me Guido was the first gay film I ever saw, and stayed my favorite for ages.

Truth be told, Kiss Me Guido is less a film about gay men and more a film about New Yorkers, but that’s fine. It’s hilarious. Maybe you need to be from New York to truly enjoy it, but I don’t think so. I think everyone can appreciate the beauty that is Kiss Me Guido.

Here’s the set up: Frankie is a young Italian-American man living in the Bronx with his family. He dreams of being an actor, and when his asshole older brother (played by Anthony DeSando) hooks up with Frankie’s girlfriend, Frankie decides to move to The City (aka Manhattan.)

He answers a want ad in the paper (remember those?!) for a roommate in an apartment in Little Italy. Of course, Frankie isn’t realizing that Little Italy butts up against the very gay West Greenwich Village.

Through a series of events, Frankie ends up living with a gay actor named Warren and starring in a play directed by Warren’s ex-boyfriend, Dakota. Frankie pretends to be gay, and to be Warren’s boyfriend. Warren has to learn to live with a “guido”.

Cultures collide as the macho culture of Italian-American Bronx clashes with gay village life.

It. Is. Awesome.

In a way, Kiss Me Guido is a lot like the other 90’s movie, Chasing Amy. That was also about the clash between suburb and city, straight and gay.

Personally, I love intercultural comedies and romances. In fact, my latest work in progress is an intercultural romance between a gay, anglo college kid and a Latino firefighter. It’ll be a while before I have a release date for you lovies, but I promise, you’ll enjoy it!

Great performances in Kiss Me Guido included the absolutely perfect casting of Anthony DeSando as Frankie’s brother Pino, and Craig Chester as Warren’s best friend Terry. (Craig Chester is probably best known for his role in Adam and Steve.) But everyone in the film was great. I laugh every time I watch it.

 Check out the trailer for Kiss Me Guido Here:

#2: Latter Days

Latter Days was made only five years after Kiss Me Guido, but it doesn’t have that same “old movie” feel. Maybe its production value was higher, or maybe moviemaking techniques leapt forward between those years, but Latter Days doesn’t have that grainy, old-skool-video feel to it, and it certainly doesn’t suffer from the sound quality issues of Kiss Me Guido. (Kiss Me Guido was filmed outside in parts. In New York City. It sounds like someone just hung the microphone over the actors’ heads and you can barely hear them talking over the background noise.)

Regardless, Latter Days is one of those movies everyone seems to love. It was written and directed by C. Jay Cox, the same screenwriter who wrote Sweet Home Alabama, and it shares some of the same elements: fish out of water, big city versus small town…

The plot is simple: young, promiscuous gay man falls in love with a Mormon missionary. Honestly, it could be the set up for a M/M romance. It’s a reformed-rake story, a coming-out story, and a love story.

Now, here’s the thing. Yes, I enjoyed the movie. BUT, there were a couple problems that nagged me. First off, Christian (played by Wes Ramsey) was supposed to be a self-absorbed gym rat, but I didn’t really see that, maybe because we didn’t see him go to the gym. I’m pretty sure this is because they only had the money for a few sets. Still, it felt like telling instead of showing. I wanted to see him working out and being more obsessed with his appearance.

My second issue was that Elder Aaron Davis, the missionary (played by Steve Sandvoss) went home to Utah for a big section of the movie. Now, I’m not sure how they could have avoided this, but in romance novels I hate it when the main characters spend too much time apart. It especially feels like a cop-out when the main characters separate and do nothing but soul searching from the black moment to the plot resolution.

That’s what happened here. Too much time apart.

Still, the premise was great, there were some great lines, and more than anything, there was amazing chemistry between the two main characters. Christian and Aaron sizzled off the screen. They were totally believable as a couple.

Christian and Aaron were both adorable and sexy, and for that reason alone, you should watch Latter Days. It won a few awards, including one at L.A. Outfest. Check out the trailer here, and see what you


This ends today’s installment of the Daisy Harris Gay Movie Review Blog Tour. Come by my blog next Tuesday, where I’ll be discussing the Eating Out Franchise, part 2: The Rise of Chris Salvatore! 

Tour schedule:

 Tuesday, November 27 — Awesome Gay Foreign Films, Volume 1 (Cup o Porn)

Thursday, November 29 — Good But Depressing Gay Foreign Films (Alyssa Linn Palmer)

Tuesday, December 4 — Soccer-Themed Gay Movies (Cup o Porn)

Thursday, December 6 — Totally-a-M/M-Romance-Plotline Gay Films (Joyfully Jay) 

Tuesday, December 11 — So Bad, They’re Good Gay Films (Cup o Porn)

Thursday, December 13 — Awesome Foreign Gay Films, Volume 2 (Jessica Freely) 

Tuesday, December 18 — Eating Out franchise, pre Chris Salvatore (Daisy Harris) 

Friday, December 21 — Awesome U.S. Gay Films (Saritza Hernandez, agent) 

December 25 — Eating Out Franchise, post Chris Salvatore (Daisy Harris) 

Thursday, December 27 — Gay Adoption Films (Fiction with Friction)

Saturday, December 29 — Gay Films for the Holidays (Tara Lain)

Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn't sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris's dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.

She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she's never missed an episode of The Walking Dead. Want to learn more about new releases, general news and my latest inappropriate boy band crush? Sign up for my newsletter!

Or visit my website: