Last night James and I watched a film called 'Regarding Billy' The cheap cover with it's standard MS Word font text did not promise a well shot movie with terrific acting.
For those of you not familiar with gay cinema, as a reason of low budget, the actors can be of the same quality of your average kindergarten school play. On top of the strenuous acting, the director can try to make it artsy and real. Making use of tight close ups of greasy, pimpled faces and extended pauses.
I am all for real and natural in movies, but only if "real and natural" is obtained with a generous smother of make-up and good lighting.
So the cover of this particular movie did not fill me with hope.
The movie opens with simple shots of a quaint picturesque dock on a grey afternoon or maybe it opened with the title character, Billy, trying to read a book whilst his best friend, Dean, is throwing potato chips in his face (which is an obvious freudian type metaphor for what he woud really to throw in Billy's face).
I can't really remember how the movie opens, and that is not important, the important part is that when we saw the opening scene, it was well filmed, and when Billy and Dean open their mouths, the words sound natural.
Somewhere near the beginning, Billy and Dean are laying down in a tent (Billy reading, Dean doing his freudian toss) and Dean tells Billy that he enlisted in the armed forces for four years and is going to fight in Iraq.
Billy throws a little tantrum, "I'm not going to see your for four years!"
Then Dean says "Billy I want to tell you something... Do you think you and I... Oh forget about it."
Then Billy says," Dean, there is something I want to tell you... I... I... Oh forget about it."
Then skip forward to some indefinate time in the future (four years later perhaps?) and Billy's parents are killed some how. He does mention how they died later on, but I can't remember, it was something about icy water.
Well his parents died and left Billy to take care of his mentally challenged little brother.. I think his name was Johnnie, if not, that is what we will call him as all little brothers in movies are called Johnnie.
There is some dreadfully mundane dialogue between Billy and Johnnie about their parents death. Johnnie constantly asks, "Hey, Billy? What do you think our parents are doing now?"
If you can survive those excrutiating three scenes, then you will get the good part when Dean gets out of the army and comes to live with Billy and Johnnie.
Let's talk about sexual tension!!! I think that there were two further conversations that went the same as the tent chat. "Billy, there's something I want to tell you.... Nevermind I can't." "Dean, there is something I really need to tell you.... but I can't."
In the meantime, whilst they both refuse to admit their gayness and undying love for the other, they are acting like that gayest couple on the planet. Billy and Johnnie are making christmas cookies (Billy is wearing an apron) and Dean comes home from his job on the docks and does all but kiss Billy hello.
Then Billy tells Dean he smells like fish and to leave the kitchen before the cookies start to smell like fish, then Billy and Dean continue to have a flour fight.
Gay. Gay. Gay.
You sit there, going, "Come on! Just tell him!! I want to see some hot naked man sex!!!" but the tension continues.
Well, finally Johnnie goes out to a Christmas Party at the local sped house and it is a boys night in for Billy and Dean. Billy brings home pizza and beer. OK so it is at this point that I think, "Oh goodie, they will get drunk, have some drunken tense moment where they look into each others eyes and finally someone will make a move!!"
Instead Dean says he got blown up in the war and is going blind.
Well then something or rather happens and Billy says to Dean, "Dean I really need to tell you something... But I just can't"
My god! This is just as frustrating as when The Nanny was on TV and I missed the episode when Mr. Sheffield told Fran "the thing", and every episode that followed mentioned "the thing" but never said what "the thing" was and I was holding out for weeks to find out what "the thing" was. It was a lot like that.
Then Billy repeats the above statements and Dean says, "Billy, its me, you can tell me anything, tell me"
And then Billy says" I can't... I can't... OK. Ever since you've come back.. I... I... have been having these... feelings for you... and I have had them for a long time."
Dean stands there in shocked silence.
Billy stands there shocked, but not in silence. He says, "But I don't want it to ruin our friendship."
Dean stands there a bit longer in shocked silence. Then lunges at Billy and gives him the juiciest tongue kiss you can imagine.
Billy stands there in shocked silence.
Then Dean says, "I have always loved you!"
Then they kiss.
The next scene begins with the camera panning down from a fire place to some pillows on the floor to Billy and Dean's heads then a full body shot... Let me repeat that.. A fully clothed body shot.
They were lying in front of the fire hold hands and talking... yep, I said "talking". The man you have been secretly pining for, The man who is your best friend, The man you love almost more than anything else in the entire world, just told you he loved you too, and they just lay holding hands?
You would imagine that after a lifetime of hidden love, you would want to kiss, hold, caress every inch of your love's body. naked body. Not in a skanky let's fuck sort of way, but in that, I have wanted you to be with me my entire life and now I want to explore every bit of what we couldn't do before kind of way.
I suppose it was sweet. However as a veiwer, they are two good looking fellows and it would be nice if we would have seen at least one ass shot.
The final scenes are the clinchers. Johnnie makes ornaments from Christmas cookies every year. One to represent him, Billy and their parents. This year, he also makes one for Dean and his parents (who are dead as well) so that Dean's family becomes part of their family. Then Dean gives Johnnie his dog tags. The whole time, Billy is looking on at Dean, and in his eyes are full of love and touched by the whole scene, his face says, "This is way I love you."
It was heartwarming and I am no worse off having seen Regarding Billy. James thinks that Billy is stupid, he will be stuck taking care of a blind man and retard for the rest of his life.
Don't know if I would want to see that sequel.
To steal the words of a friend, Regarding Billy did not "rock my pussy" but it was just a sweet film about love and family.