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A love story chronicled from both men’s beginning to one’s end.
Review (with Spoilers)
As the world goes from some sort of malice toward homosexuals to tolerance, movies like this remind you of how silly it is people can actively hate a group of people who do them no harm. But, thankfully, as much as there is an underlying theme about equality within the film, the love between Tom and Shane is what is the most showcased. Thus making a film which could rival some of your favorite romantic movies.
Characters & Story
This documentary features two men. One being Shane and the other Tom. Their love story plays out like many love stories in which this extrovert meets this quiet person and through the extrovert the quiet counterpart blossoms. And the film decides, rather than to start when Tom and Shane first date, they instead make it so you build up to that moment by getting to know the two men before the love came about. With that, the film makes it so you are almost like an acquaintance of the two boys, who you may have seen around school, and rather than them being someone you just randomly look up on Facebook, instead you get one-half of the relationship, and all their friends, telling you what happened from beginning to end.
Truly, for a film a little over an hour to be so touching is quite amazing. As I’ve said in other reviews, so many films do so much in order to make an on-screen relationship seem authentic, but when you see Tom and Shane and think about all that lead up to their relationship, it truly does create a mental precedent, as their friends say in the movie. Then, what makes this film all the better is the fact this romance was a reality. Thankfully, both Tom and Shane loved using their camera to take pictures and create videos, and when you combine those two with the interview segments, you get a film which squashes any Nicholas Sparks movie adaption and rivals any other depiction of love you can think of.
But, perhaps the nicest thing is the way we are introduced to Tom and Shane. We get to see two separate entities grow into finding each other like the proverbial missing puzzle piece. And though there isn’t much affection shown, in terms of kissing or something like that, just their interactions and pictures show the type of romance I’m sure many dream of. And though we, as viewers, are just viewing into the window of Shane and Tom’s life, the amount of detail really makes you feel almost like an acquaintance by the end of the film.
Honestly, there isn’t much to critique the film on since it is fairly to the point and only a little over an hour. I mean, to nitpick, I could say I wasn’t fond of most of the music used, but that is mostly because there is a lot of original music which I wasn’t feeling, country songs, and songs which may have fit the moment, but I think were unnecessary overall. However, and maybe this is just my feelings, I think it was unnecessary for the movie to have one of the interviewees, who seems so foreign in comparison to Shane’s or Tom’s family members and friends. And the reason I say he seems foreign, is because it seems his main purpose is to associate Tom and Shane’s story with the push for marriage equality and gay rights. And really, the film itself, on its own, speaks on why marriage equality matters as well as speak on the issues a gay person can have in this world, especially if they grow up in an area of intolerance. So his participation almost seems more like an invasive sponsor than someone contributing something of worth.
Overall: Rental/ VOD
Perhaps in the future, when people take note of how far things have come, films like this one will be used to show part of the devastation which came simply from unfound hatred. And while we are told neither Tom nor Shane were physically bullied, you do see through Shane how much mental torture can come from not only not accepting yourself but not having those who you want to be close accept you. Making this, to me, worth renting. For while it is just one man’s story, like so many before, and surely after, it is a story which matters and truly reminds you despite the many differences there are between people, be it race, sexuality, likes/dislikes and etc., there are a few basic things we all search for and are a part of what gives us hope, and reason, to live possibly into our 80s, 90s, and 100s, and that is having someone who accepts all of you and finds it complimentary to their being.