Entertainment » Movies

Those People

by Frank J. Avella
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Sep 14, 2015
'Those People'
'Those People'  

Writer-director Joey Kuhn makes an impressive feature debut with "Those People," a stylized meditation on loyalty, love, friendship and familial angst among well-to-do Manhattanite twentysomethings. Kuhn's focus is on gay unrequited love (or is it?) amidst scandalous, spoiled blue bloods behaving badly background.

Shy, sweet Charlie (newcomer Jonathan Gordon) has been BFFs with (and been crushing on) pampered, conceited Sebastian (Jason Ralph) for fifteen years. Sebastian's father is serving a life sentence for some Bernie Madoff white-collar crime and turns to budding artist Charlie for support. When Charlie finds a guy who falls for him (Haaz Sleiman), Sebastian tries to sabotage things.

"Those People" is visually arresting and intriguing even when the script is predictable and contrived.

What truly makes the film soar is Gordon who is so adorable and endearing that even Charlie's bad choices seem right. He keeps us interested and invested in his journey.

"Those People" sometimes plays like an overlong episode of "Gossip Girl" funneled through the filmic universe of Whit Stillman (none of that is a bad thing), but it's a more than commendable first effort. I just wish Kuhn had been a bit more daring with his ending.

Frank J. Avella is a film and theatre journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He is also a proud Dramatists Guild member and a recipient of a 2018 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. He was awarded a 2015 Fellowship Award from the NJ State Council on the Arts, the 2016 Helene Wurlitzer Residency Grant and the Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation Playwright Award for his play Consent, which was also a 2012 semifinalist for the O'Neill. His play, Vatican Falls, took part in the 2017 Planet Connections Festivity and Frank was nominated for Outstanding Playwriting. Lured was a semifinalist for the 2018 O'Neill and received a 2018 Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Grant. Lured will premiere in 2018 in NYC and 2019 in Rome, Italy. LuredThePlay.com

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