Wednesday, April 14

Shelter (2007) Movie Review

This movie came out in 2007 and I just recently discovered it because I was looking up actor Ross Thomas. This movie is one indie movie that is one in a new (awesome) trend in gay uncles or big brothers that have to take care of their little nephew or brother and fall in love. It follows Zach (Trevor Wright), a young man who lives in the ghetto of San Pedro, who says he didn't get accepted in Art school. He surfs and graffiti in some places, as he is an artist. His nephew calls him his 'daddy' as his father is no longer in the picture.

He has an off-again, on-again childhood girlfriend Tori he neglects. Ross Thomas ("Breaking the Edge") plays his best friend Gabe, who goes off to college. Zach goes to the backyard of his house and bumps into Gabe's step-brother Shaun played by Brad Rowe. Anyhoo, Zach and Shaun know each other since they were kids and they re-connect. Even though Brad Rowe (Billy's First Hollywood Screen Kiss), who was 37 at the time and Trevor Wright was 25 at the time, they don't look that much of a mis-match. Zach and Shaun get drunk one night and Shaun kisses Zach. The next day, Zach throws his tongue down Tori's throat. His sister Jeanne warns him about Shaun and doesn't want Shaun near her son Cody because Shaun is gay. Shaun tries to deny who he is but ultimately, after breaking up with Tori for good, he seals the deal with Shaun. But the honeymoon is quickly over when Gabe returns. The night Gabe throws a party at the house, Zach breaks down and breaks up with Shaun.

Like any of these gay indie movies, this one rings true. Even though it has no major camera moves, it is an intimate look at the relationships. Zach's angst and turmoil is understandable and relatable. But there is a lot between the lines. Zach never out says he is gay nor does he let anyone say it. Zach has never had a same-sex relationship or encounter before, but basically he was trying not to be true to feelings or confusion. He wanted to be everything for Tori but couldn't, just didn't know why. He gave up everything (his own sexual identity and happiness) for his family. His sister is not that encouraging, by saying if he was rejected once by the school to not try again. He reveals near the end, when he is accepted by the university once again that he was not rejected the first time but declined to attend.

Oh yes, also got to mention that when Gabe finds out about his step-brother and best friend, he is okay about it and open-minded, but he does bug Zach--asking if he finds a guy hot and if guys give better blowjobs. But Zach isn't having it. Gabe does hug him in the end, saying they are still 'bros.' Thank god this movie has no sad ending, lots of these gay indie movies have sad endings. Well, it is worth the watch. If you wanna show this to your parents, skip one sex scene in the middle. The sex scene is not much, just an alluded to fellatio, and some shirtless kissing. Zach and Jeanne's father is only seen one scene and barely mentioned afterwards. I love this subject (gay uncles taking care of their family) being touched on, the sacrifices young gay people have to do for their families.