To be in for consideration the film needed to be released in either the US or UK in 2017, or to have been seen by us in connection with a recognised film festival. It should also be noted it’s not based purely on the score out of 10 we gave the movie at the time we saw or reviewed it, but also how we view it in hindsight and whether it’s stuck with us over the months. So take a look below to see what we think is the best of 2017.
From Our Review: There’s not a vast amount it does that we haven’t seen before in teen gay romances, but it does it with charm, wit and a real sweetness. What’s also really nice is that while sex is always present (and despite the double meaning of the film’s title), it is intimacy in relationships that it really values, so that even for teen boys it’s the lying in bed together afterwards that’s more special than the act itself… Screwed becomes a charming, sweet and sometimes funny gay teen romance that will leaving you feeling warm.
9. No Dress Code Required
Synopsis: This documentary follows Victor and Fernando, who’ve been together for 15 years and are keen to be the first gay couple to get married in Mexicali, Baja California, after a court ruling brings same sex marriage to Mexico. While they secure an order that say that the Mexicali City Hall must allow Victor and Fernando to marry, things aren’t going to be that simple. The civil authorities begin throwing a never-ending series of bureaucratic impediments in their way that straight couples normally don’t have to deal with.
From Our Review: It’s a film that makes you realise quite how much work there is to do to change hearts and minds, even in countries that seem to be well on their journey to equality by introducing same sex marriage. No Dresscode Required is a call-to-action and also a warning for people not to overlook problems closer to home. The film show that no matter what legal protections you think you have, vindictiveness and the power of government both national and local can strip that away if you’re not careful. Thankfully, the documentary also shows that hope is always there, and that the fight is always worth it.
8. Below Her Mouth
From Our Review: Although it does have a few issues, Below Her Mouth certainly has enough to keep a viewer intrigued. It invests deeply in building the romance and connection between the women, so that you care about what will happen to them, ensuring that the audience stays with them and their journey… There’s [also] intrigue in both the similarities and differences to how this might have played out if filtered through a male gaze.
Synopsis: Andreas (Philipp Hochmair) and Stefan (Lukas Turtur) are a seemingly happy gay couple, with fulfilling careers and plenty of loving friends. They live in a beautiful house with their cat, Moses. Their lives are full of music, sex, socialising and a sense of connection with both each other and those around them. Then suddenly and completely unexpectedly Stefan does something inexplicable, violent and totally out of character. Andreas is beside himself, unable to comprehend exactly what has just occurred, and it soon becomes apparent that it is not something they can easily work their way through and put behind them.
From Our Review: What helps hold it all together is a real empathy for the characters, both of whom are flawed in different ways (interestingly, by the end of the movie, some viewers have come out on Andreas’ side, despite his shocking act, feeling Stefan was almost torturing him in a way that goes beyond what was deserved)… The film starts off sweet and sexy – including a couple of pretty full-on sex scenes, complete with both guys dancers with boners on display – to ensure you have empathy. While it then takes a very different tone, it’s more than tight enough to keep you hooked in and hoping that they can somehow find a way through.
6. Centre Of My World
From Our Review: It’s the romance that will keep viewers most entertained and interested though, with Phil and Nicholas falling in deep in lust. Director Jakob M. Erwa wants us to see everything through Phil’s eyes. Sometimes he takes things a little far – such as swelling music and a literally rose-tinted view the first time Phil sees Nicholas – but it largely works well, partly because it does these things with a wink and because it does a pretty good job of conveying the heightened sentiment of teen life – a time when love seems all-encompassing, and emotional pain feels like its brought your life to an end.