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Eighteen (2004)

Cast: Paul Anthony, Clarence Sponagle, Alan Cumming, more...
Director: Richard Bell
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Tla
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 95 min.

In this poignant, soul-searching drama, Pip Anders has just turned eighteen and finds himself estranged from his family and living homeless on the streets. As he attempts to sort out his young life with the help of a local priest (Alan Cumming), he listens to a tape left to him by his deceased grandfather Jason (voiced by Ian McKellen), telling of his own experiences at age eighteen trapped behind enemy lines in battle. Although decades apart, the two young men must face their difficult parallel lives, each on an uncertain journey of redemption and self-discovery. Winner- Best Drama at the Salt Lake City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

GreenCine Member Reviews

Best Intentions, Rotten Results by talltale August 26, 2006 - 2:03 PM PDT
You can't fault a film like EIGHTEEN for lack of good intentions: the desire to show how important love--between straights, gays, and men in uniform--can be. From the number of staggeringly good reviews posted on other rental sites, viewers appear to find those intentions count for more than the nearly total lack of reality--psychological and otherwise--throughout this shockingly woeful movie. Its sincerity and unfortunate tastefulness, however, are coupled so bizarrely to crudity and sentimentality that the movie fails to rise even to the level of camp.

Let's start with the nitwit casting: the 18-year-old "hero" looks around 30 (according to the IMDB, the actor was 29 when the movie was filmed). Then move on to the audio player and tape that the hero's grand-daddy (conveniently just-deceased but voiced in plumy tones by Ian McKellen) has left him. Why? So that he can listen to grandpa's "story" of love during WWII--which he does, but in completely phony three-minute doses (this, in order that less-then-gifted writer/director Richard Bell can constantly, clunkily inter-cut the past with the present).

More? OK--how about the soldier's and showgirl's "marriage" in church? Or the odd source of electricity in that abandoned warehouse the hero calls home? (It certainly doesn't come from the unlit candles in the scene between him and his girl.) Worst is the sudden leap into sci-fi/fantasy at the end, as present and past stupidly converge. I usually enjoy Canadian films, but this one had my jaw on the floor early on; by movie's end I think it had dropped almost to China. (I must admit that the scene between the gay hooker and his virgin "john" as they trade "I love you's" did almost win me over.) This is one appalling movie.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.33)
3 Votes
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