BearCity 2 :: Roars onto the Red Carpet!
Things got all warm and fuzzy on the red carpet during the exclusive New York City premiere of "BearCity 2: The Proposal" the much anticipated sequel to the comedy enjoying a special run at the Cinema Village theaters in Manhattan. Fans lined up around the block for the two debut evening performances, and the film’s writer/director Doug Langway couldn’t have been more humbled or more excited by the reception his film was getting.
"People seemed to have liked the movie," Langway said downplaying the "Sold Out" sign on the theater ticket box-office and surrounded by members of his returning ensemble including Gerald McCullouch, Stephen Guarino, and Joe Conti. "It’s very nice." With the surprise success of the first "BearCity," Langway did admit that he always envisioned the film as a series. "Being the ’Star Wars’ kid that I am, I always knew there was more to tell, especially with the ’coming out of the closet twice’ idea." Langway is referring to the journey experienced by the youngest character in his ensemble, Tyler (played by Conti).
In the first film Tyler reveals his bear-chasing attractions, and ends up with the Chelsea A-List version, when he meets up with playboy Roger (played by Gerald McCullouch’s). "The first one had to be a teaching tool," Langway says about placing his characters within the dynamic diversity of the New York City gay community, which is made up of twinks, Chelsea boys, hipsters, and bears, to name a few. "With this film I could take these characters in multiple directions."
Once again set against the backdrop of the burgeoning bear community (and those who love them) "BearCity 2: The Proposal" gets a little more personal and political. Especially now that some time has passed since we first met the group of Manhattanites, the lives of Roger (Gerald McCullouch) and his daddy-loving chorus boy Tyler (Joe Conti) are now rocked with the passing of marriage equality. Having moved in together, their next logical step would be to take the plunge, or so it would seem.
Seeing that their circle of friends are mostly all in committed relationships, the couple thinks how hard could it be? But when they decide to perform their nuptials during Provincetown’s "Bear Week," things get a little dicey. It may take more than the guidance of den mother Kathy Najimy, who steals the show along with her on-screen son Stephen Guarino, to put things right as the plot gets hairy.
Placing the main arc of the film on the enormity of "the proposal" becomes a very interesting social and political statement to examine within the context of the film’s comedy. There’s always been this sort of pressure," Langway describes, "This marriage thing almost unnecessarily forces people to get into something that they should not necessarily do...and some people are in relationships with this shield, but ready to bolt once they realize that they aren’t in love." But will Roger and Tyler live happily ever after?
Back in ’Bear’
"Doug created a story that has just resonated with a worldwide audience," says McCullouch, not only one of the film’s stars but also its co-executive producer. "It’s opened up this broad spectrum of fans," says the star who is most known for his recurring appearances on the hit CBS series "CSI," "and maybe that was a bit of pressure for the sequel, but there is so much more of an arc in this one."
"BearCity 2: The Proposal" doesn’t compromise on its emotional resonance for the cheap joke. There are multiple themes of family, love, trust and respect that weave their way into all the map cap hilarity. In the style of big-budget Hollywood ensemble comedies such as "The Hangover" and "Bridesmaids," this film will easily have a cross-over appeal that will bring it into mainstream popularity (if the bachelorette parties lining up behind the Chelsea muscle boys were any indication).
Undoubtedly with the advent of independent films popularly appreciating the downloadable digital medium, fans of the "BearCity" films will soon be able to enjoy the misadventures of this very dysfunctional functional family when the series is released on multiple platforms including downloads and Blu-ray. And as for another installment of the franchise, Langway is prepared to reveal that yes, he has a third one in mind.
"I don’t know," Langway says, "do you think audiences may be ready for ’BearCity 3D’?" With seats filling up at festivals across the country as "BearCity 2" comes to a town nearby, I would be surprised if fans wouldn’t welcome the return of "Aroma-Scope" in Hi-Def!
Go to www.bearcity2.com to follow the bears before the hibernation to home video sets in. For the full experience this film is best seen in a theater - bring your own bear.