The Advocate's 27 Favorite Films of Outfest 2014
BY Daniel Reynolds and Jase Peeples
July 07 2014 7:00 AM ET
Friday, July 11, 7 p.m. at Harmony Gold
No relationship is perfect. Especially when one is faking that relationship to attend an all-expense-paid couples retreat, as in the case of Kat (Tara Karsian) and Samantha (Andrea Grano). After letting chance decide their destiny by flipping a coin, the pair of longtime friends, who both can’t seem to make a relationship with a man last, pretend to be a longtime lesbian couple in order to get some relaxation and relationship tips at a New Age therapeutic weekend. And it doesn’t hurt that the real-life partners who are venting their problems, both gay and straight, can provide some comic relief. But as they go through exercises like communicating via animal noises, cooperative obstacle courses, and mandatory massage sessions, both Kat and Samantha begin to wonder if their fake affection for each other might have some truth in it after all. Written by its leads, BFFs is both humorous and thoughtful in its exploration of the vicissitudes of the heart. For better or worse, it also refreshingly places gay and straight couples on the same playing field in the game of love.
Sunday, July 13, 6:30 p.m. at DGA 1
A tale of a middle-aged man’s sexual awaking unfolds in director Dito Montiel’s Boulevard. Robin Williams stars as Nolan Mack, a man who has played it safe his entire life by working in the same bank branch for decades and is comfortable living in the same house with his wife, Joy (Kathy Baker), in separate bedrooms. However, Mack soon finds his world is shaken to its core when he enters into an unsettling relationship with Leo, a young hustler.
Monday, July 14, 9:30 p.m. at DGA 1
From New York to Los Angeles, Mario Diaz has left an indelible mark on gay nightlife. Founder of the notorious East Village bar The Cock, Diaz also started some of the most-talked about parties on the scene, including BFD at Fubar. Club King is a behind-the-scenes look at, well, the scene, providing candid interviews with bon vivants like Jackie Beat, Justin Vivian Bond, and the go-go boys who keep patrons coming back for more. Come early to the screening for a reception, and venture over to Fubar afterward for Diaz’s birthday celebration, where one can get a taste of what it means to be club royalty.
Sunday, July 13, 4 p.m., DGA 1
Eytan Fox, who directed the somber war drama Yossi & Jagger, performs a 180-degree directorial turn in his most recent project, Cupcakes. The Israeli film is a joyous musical comedy that begins when five women and a gay man become accidental contestants in a Eurovision-like competition after a video of one of their impromptu performances goes viral. It’s a candy-colored confection, drawing its exuberance from the spirit of old-school musicals mixed with modern sass a la Pitch Perfect. There’s not much concern for complexity or character development, but for those looking for an escapist romp in a feel-good flick, Cupcakes is the perfect treat.
Dior and I
Friday, July 11, 7 p.m. at DGA 1
Fans of fashion will fall head over designer heels for Dior and I, a behind-the-seams look into the storied brand. Documentarian Frédéric Tcheng (Valentino: The Last Emperor) trains his lens on the drama following the ascension of designer Raf Simons to the position of Christian Dior’s creative director. In a flurry akin to a high-stakes Project Runway challenge, Simons has only eight weeks to roll out his first fashion line, and he and his staff, including right-hand man Pieter Mulier, are tasked with realizing his creative vision while also keeping in mind the brand and the business. Weaved into the film is archival footage of Christian Dior articulating the divide in his life between his identity as a man and an icon, and Tcheng layers this struggle on Simons in his present-day role. Will the critics still adore Dior at Simons’s runway show? Is Simons a worthy heir? Fashion aficionados may already know, and the rest will enjoy the ride of seeing an haute couture line come together, one stitch at a time. And don’t miss the after-party at the Abbey.