An unusual relationship that leads to a few important lessons is probably the only way I can sum up Nate & Margaret in a few words. However I have more than a few words so I’ll go into greater depth.
The film tells the story of 19-year-old Nate (Tyler Ross) and 52-year-old Margaret (Natalie West) as their somewhat unusual relationship is rocked by the arrival of Nate’s first boyfriends and Margaret’s pursuit of a career as a stand up comedian.
The film at first sounds a little unoriginal as it put me in mind of the cult 1970s classic Harold and Maude, which clearly inspired the creation of this film. However Nate & Margaret is an odd gem in the otherwise cluttered category of gay indie flicks.
Despite being an indie flick the director, Nathan Adloff, who also co-wrote the film with Justin D.M. Palmer, manages to make the movie anything but low budget, as it’s shot very well. Okay, there are a few parts that clearly show that this film didn’t have the budget of something like Transformers, but you can let it slide as overall it’s not an issue.
The acting in the film all round is great as the actors truly make you believe in the characters they are playing, whether it’s the youthful and naïve Nate having his first foray into love and sex (a character most people could relate to) or the cynical and somewhat sad Margaret who gives you the feeling that she’s missed out on life.
The best part aspect of the film is that unlike many gay movies, it doesn’t centre on the fact that Nate is gay, as it is pretty secondary to the actual nature of the film. More central is the importance of friendship, no matter how different it is. Whereas many gay films concentrate on sex, finding yourself or coming out, this film makes sexuality a non-taboo subject as no one so much as raises an eyebrow over two men kissing, and instead tackles the taboo of unusual relationships such as a 50-year-old being friends with a 19-year-old.
Also, when it comes to sex in a gay film this one had none, except for a very entertaining scene in an art gallery, which in all honesty was one of the stand out funny moments of the film. When it comes to being funny the film doesn’t try too hard either, which seems to be the key problem with many independent ‘comedy’ films.
However, this film isn’t all about being funny as it is mainly a sweet and touching film that proved that no matter what, friendship is the most important thing a person can have, irrespective of how old you are. This is shown in a number of scenes that are both moving and sweet, especially one that will make you release an “aww” for Margaret.
The music in Nate & Margaret backs this up and is one of the key parts to film, blending humorous and thoughtful tunes that connote youthfulness and naivety with darker more unhappy music that will evoke sympathy for the characters.
Overall Verdict: This film has a great theme, message and acting with some believable and well thought out characters, an engaging plot and is an all together enticing and enjoyable easy watch.
Reviewer: Lewis Shepherd