Drifting in LA, Bruno (Miles Szanto) meets the slightly older Earlene (Ashleigh Summer) and almost in spite of themselves they begin to bond, connecting over the fact they’re both outsiders. After deciding to get away from the City Of Angels, they head off into the desert with plans to get to the bright lights of Las Vegas.
It’s not a straightforward trip though, and along the way they come across a sexually uncertain outlaw, a pair of Scottish former strippers and the inhabitants of a desert ghost town. Although to the outside this collection of huts and ramshackle houses looks like a tenuous community, Bruno begins to feel that he might have finally found a place that is prepared to accept you no matter how atypical you are, while the alcoholic Earlene isn’t as sure she should even be allowed to find a home.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about films becoming post-gay, which generally seems to mean that they’ve moved beyond being solely about the stereotypical LGBT experience (e.g. coming out, homophobia, sex and finding boyfriends) and this road trip with a difference certainly fits with that. Being gay, straight, trans or intersex is merely part of the smorgasbord of human experience that the film suggests is out there, with the important thing being to try to find peace and somewhere (or some people) where you belong.
Although there are times when it feels like its ambition begins to obscure its core. For example, initially its slightly fast-paced style seems to mimic the confused central characters, but there are times when it begins to edge towards trying to do too much and not quite being able to pull it together.
While this could have ruined the movie, it doesn’t due to the fact that it never forgets the truth and humanity of its characters and there’s real strength in the way it brings its outsiders together and the authenticity of their experience.
Another thing that could have made you question the film is that a lot of the cast are just too damn pretty for their own good. However these are talented folk and while the likes of Barrett Crake, Ross William Wild and Anthony Cherrie are almost ridiculously cute, they’re also good actors who are far more than eye candy. That’s not to say they don’t do eye candy duties extremely well too, and the desert locale ensures there are plenty of reasons for them to take their shirt off.
The movie was made on a micro-budget but you’d never believe the cash available was quite as small as it was, as it looks great, with beautiful shots of the American southwest. Nor does it suffer from the usual indie-LGBTI movie flaws of muddy sound and murky picture. Indeed for a movie made with so little it achieves an awful lot in all sorts of ways.
Overall Verdict: A film about the bonds that form between those living on the outside, which packs a punch and entertains, far outstripping its microbudget roots.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac