Good morning peeps!
Last night I was invited to the BEAR CITY 2 premiere at the Cinema Village followed by a party at Boxers where stars of the movie and fans celebrated the release with a lot of schmoozing and boozing.
The movie, which is set mostly in PTown, is pretty damn good - hilarious at times, unexpectedly moving at others, and, for those of you for whom bear culture is 'it', you will drool at all the mostly naked bears sunning themselves at the Boat Slip and frolicking at a foam party staged at Atlantic House. <G>
Gerald McCullouch, back from the first film, plays a party boy who wants to grow up, but just can't get there. Joe Conti is the 23 year old boyfriend he wants to marry but although he knows he's way too young to get married, goes forward with the engagement anyway. As you can imagine, the road to the altar isn't smooth and their internal doubts manifest themselves in external objects of affection that force them to question whether or not getting married is the right thing to do. I won't spoil the rest of the movie for you but suffice to say that what follows is one of the more mature, and realistic, depictions of how mature (even when they're acting like children) adults handle such issues. Good job, movie. McCullouch and Conti will make you laugh and they'll move you - that's a lot to achieve for what could easily be written off as a silly comedy of a minority within a minority.
The rest of the cast is also superb - Stephen Guarino and Brian Keane once again shine as the somewhat dysfunctional couple Fred and Brent who love and amuse each other to no end; James Martinez and Gregory Gunter once again quarrel throughout the movie (but particularly shine in a bit about a CPAP machine); and Kathy Najimy is hilarious as Guarino's mother who runs a bed and breakfast in PTown - who knew Kathy Najimy was old enough to convingly play someone's mother? Richard Riehle has a great star turn as Conti's dad befuddled why all the men are calling him "daddy" while the hilarious Susie Mosher plays Conti's mom who doesn't quite know the meaning of "too much information". (Mosher hosts "Backstage" a weekly live cabaret show at the new venue 54 Below and this Tuesday October 2nd will welcome the BEAR CITY 2 cast for a night of mayhem and performing)
There are real life guest stars who pop in here and there - for example Frank DeCaro and director Kevin Smith. Varla Jean Merman also does a sort of lengthy riff on bears culture which is quite funny. Even David Drake's alter ego, Tawny Heatherton zips by the screen at one point. For New Yorkers, it's as much fun to watch what's going on in the foreground as it is to watch who is popping up in the background.
The BEAR CITY flicks share a lot with SEX IN THE CITY and Armistead Maupin's TALES OF THE CITY books. One can imagine a dozen of these flicks following a core group as they make their way in and around the gay community together, each developing a little bit more with each movie. And there are plenty of minor characters (like Jonny Mack's Ted) who have potential to move into a lead spot once the narrative demands new directions.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll have a wonderful time at BEAR CITY 2... now through Thursday October 4th at the Cinema Village. And remember, we must continue to support our gay indie filmmakers - so even if you're not here in New York and can't see this particular run, please consider simply buying a ticket as a way to support the film. And by checking out the BC2 website, you can find out how you can become an important financial part of post-production and future installments!