PJ and I recently watched Back Soon, a gay supernatural romance about two straight men who suddenly become attracted to one another. Here’s the trailer:

Windham Beacham plays Logan, a recently widowed man who hasn’t been able to put his life back together since his wife’s death in a drunk driving accident. In an effort to make a change, he puts their house up for sale. Matthew Montgomery plays Gil, who has been inexplicably drawn to Logan’s house for the better part of the past year; he makes an offer on the house as soon as the for sale sign goes up. As Logan moves out and Gil moves in, the two men become friends and increasingly drawn together. Eventually, the two otherwise straight men even sleep together. The rest of the movie explores the aftermath of this night together. Throughout the movie, the ghost/spirit of Logan’s dead wife also makes appearances, guiding the two men together.

I’ll start with what I like about this movie. Matthew Montgomery and Windham Beacham are both really good in it. Both of these actors also starred in Long-Term Relationship. I should admit upfront that Montgomery is, at least physically, my ideal man. I’m sure that affects my appreciation of his performance in these movies, but I really like him. He and Beacham both convey emotion and sensitivity really well. There is an intimacy to their acting that grounds their characters in a very necessary realism given the supernatural element of the film.

Montgomery and Beacham are so good in this film that they almost transcend the stupid, disappointing script. Almost. I couldn’t help but think that the writer, Rob Williams, had a kernel of a really good idea that was ultimately ruined by the silly supernatural stuff. This could have been a really interesting movie about two men who were mostly straight but who, because of tragedies and other circumstances, suddenly found their friendship becoming something else. That would have been an interesting, complex, and maybe even realistic movie.

In contrast, this script’s inclusion of the dead wife’s ghost, her influence over the two men, and her occasional “meet and greet” with a character’s disembodied soul take away from the movie rather than make it interesting. Instead of exploring issues of sexuality, love, and friendship, Back Soon is a confused and confusing anti-romance that thinks it’s raising complex issues of desire and sexuality when it’s really not.

While Logan and Gil claim to be straight throughout the movie, two other characters aren’t. Bret Wolfe plays Gil’s best friend Jaime and Artie O’Daly plays Spencer, Logan’s closeted brother-in-law. Both of these characters are way too obvious and stereotypical to be anything but tragically comic.

I saw Long Term Relationship before I started blogging, so I don’t think I have a record of what I thought of it but my vague memory is that I liked it. It was a comedy about what happens when a liberal gay man (Montgomery) finds himself falling in love with . . . a Republican (Beacham). I also like Montgomery and Beacham in Back Soon, and I look forward to seeing more of their films. Unfortunately, Back Soon was a big disappointment.