Over the weekend PJ and I watched Dog Tags, a movie about a guy, Nate, played by Paul Preiss, who joins the marines in order to please his girlfriend and his mother. While home from basic training, Nate gets a rude awakening about the girlfriend and meets Andy, played by Bart Fletcher, a gay guy with his own set of problems. The two men hit it off, leading both to make some important decisions about their futures.

I couldn’t find a trailer for the movie, so here’s a clip I found on YouTube. It takes place after Nate (the guy in bed) and Andy (the guy in the shower) have spent a night in a motel together.

I’m glad I found this clip because it illustrates what I like about this movie. First off, Preiss is great in this role. His Nate is a typical guy who’s just trying to do the best he can in life. His main problem is that he doesn’t know how he is. Raised by a single mother who isn’t very honest about his origins and who is torn between her hope that the marines will give him direction and that he’ll fail to become a marine, Nate pretty much just goes through life doing what everyone tells him to do. He’s not a big thinker.

Yet Preiss creates a character that is good-hearted and sincere, even if he isn’t terribly bright. As we get to know him better, however, we see that he is smart and has a lot of potential; he’s just never had the opportunity to figure things out for himself.