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The Falls is a feature film about two missionaries that fall in love while on their mission. RJ travels to a small town in Oregon with Elder Merrill to serve their mission and teach the ... See full summary »
Brian J. Saville Allard
Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss) and Christian Markelli (Wes Ramsey) are perhaps the two most opposite people in the world. Aaron is a passionate young Elder (a Mormon missionary) who wants to do his family and church proud. Christian is a shallow West Hollywood waiter/party boy who only looks forward to what man the next night will bring to him. After Aaron and three other Elders move into the apartment across from his, Christian's friends make a bet that he can't get one of them into the sack, so he instantly latches onto Aaron, suspecting there is more than meets the eye to him. There are two problems, though: Christian finds himself questioning his own identity as he falls in love with Aaron and the Mormon Church treats homosexuality as a sinful lifestyle. When Aaron's burgeoning sexuality is discovered, they will have to go through trials of regret, loss, perseverance, and forgiveness if they want to get to the thing that matters to them most: each other. Written by
Trey Parker, one of the creators of a popular cartoon series South Park, already played a similar sexually challenged Mormon character on a 1997 film Orgazmo, although his character was actually straight instead. See more »
When Aaron puts the first bandage on Christian, he puts the lower part over the "strap", in the next take (as we see him putting on the second bandage), we see the first bandage has been put on properly. See more »
Elder Aaron Davis:
When I first came to Los Angeles, it looked like just this mass of dots... all jumbled and disconnected. It was pretty disorienting.
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A Special Thank You to... The Erik Palladino Screening Room and His Xylophone Backup Singers See more »
Good Intentions Muddled by Plot Contrivances in Worthy Gay-Oriented Effort
Director/writer C. Jay Cox makes a valiant attempt at creating a gay-oriented film for a mainstream audience, but he pads his story with so many contrivances that don't allow the film to resonate as it should as a thoughtful treatise on the hostile incompatibility between organized religion and homosexuality. The story focuses on the ironically named Christian, a standard-issue WeHo party-boy who waits tables at a fancy LA eatery, and Aaron, a fresh-faced Mormon missionary, one of four uptight, white-collared boys who plant themselves next door to Christian to spread the word of their religion. This sitcom-sounding set-up leads to a $50 bet made among the restaurant wait staff to see if Christian can bed Aaron, obviously leading to complications that look anything but promising to either the characters or the viewer.
Fortunately, the film improves marginally once the two get together, even though the evolution of their relationship is inevitable according to the conventions set forth by Cox. What is intriguing at this point is that Aaron's self-acceptance as a gay man is not as automatically liberating as one would expect. Instead, Aaron challenges the narcissistic Christian for his vapidity, and in turn, Christian looks inward as he becomes close to a sardonic AIDS patient. The movie resonates most when it deals directly with the restricted attitudes of the Mormon Church as embodied most viscerally by Aaron's mother and when Christian comes to accept his own lifestyle limitations. However, Cox layers too many coincidences toward the end and eventually disavows his social commentary in favor of a predictable ending.
The music, which is actually integral to the plot, is unfortunately the type of irritating LA-based pop that distracts from the drama, in particular, a song performed by Rebekah Jordan (playing fellow waitress Julie) with lyrics courtesy of Christian's Palm Pilot diary. The performances are variable. Wes Ramsey certainly looks the part of Christian, though his stereotypical character doesn't give him much opportunity to provide depth even as his character gets more serious-minded. On the other hand, Steve Sandvoss is surprisingly substantive as Aaron, bringing a lot of conviction to a role that demands a level of naiveté that could be alienating in more cynical hands.
In a role directly opposite to the hustler he played in last year's "Mysterious Skin", Joseph Gordon-Levitt is disappointingly one-note as Aaron's homophobic colleague; but Mary Kay Place brings searing candor to the role of Aaron's intolerant mother, especially in her blistering kitchen confrontation with Aaron. In a surprising appearance, the still-beautiful Jacqueline Bisset plays the restaurant owner Lila with effortless worldly élan. The film provides true value for its perspective. I only wish Cox trusted the controversial premise more than he does here. The DVD package has deleted scenes; three music videos; less-than-insightful audio commentary from Cox, Ramsey, and Sandvoss; a better making-of featurette; and a short film from Cox, "Reason Thirteen".
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