Entertainment » Movies

Jess & James

by Dale Reynolds
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 13, 2015
Jess & James

Santiago Giralt's "Jess & James" is, for a Latin American gay film, pretty bold, exposing not only skin and sex, but Argentina's continuing homophobia.

Jess (Martín Karich) is a semi-closeted gay man with an impregnated girlfriend. He meets James (Nicolás Romeo) on a public bridge, takes him home for some selfish and semi-violent anal penetration, disallowing kissing or even satisfying James, which James accepts as his due in life.

But Jess has fallen for this sweet young man (both are in the 19 to 23-age-range), so they take a road trip in rural Argentina to try to get to know each other. Questions, of course, are asked by suspicious parents and Jess' girlfriend, since queerness is still totally frowned upon by the culture, but Jess is fighting his fear and puts the lads occasionally in tough situations, including an overnight stay in a strange mansion where, apparently, a ghost kid is seen at night, and another time being threatened with a baseball bat by an enraged coffee-shop owner (for too much gazing in each other's eyes, one might guess).

Writer/director/editor Giralt loves long and languid camera moves (Connie Martin, cinematographer), little forward-moving plotting and more suggested sex than that vivid opening scene. His actors are fine, although I could never tell Jess from James, exce

They meet up with Tomas (Federico Fontán), another wild kid their age, gifted with a knowing father who merely cautions him to be discrete. This, the opposite of Jess' and James' mothers, forcefully irritating as such out-of-touch parents can be. Later, Jess meets his estranged brother and family, after fifteen years, in a touching scene.

So far, not so interesting, unfortunately. Writer/director/editor Giralt loves long and languid camera moves (Connie Martin, cinematographer), little forward-moving plotting and more suggested sex than that vivid opening scene. His actors are fine, although I could never tell Jess from James, except when James was wearing a cowboy hat; Tomas, at least, had a full head of bushy hair.

It's hard to tell exactly who the target audience for this is, unless it's for young adults who are curious about what gayboys do. Not dreadful at all, but not satisfying either.

"Jess & James"
DVD
$19.99
http://www.tlavideo.com

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