Though Gay July is technically over, we’re keeping the party going for one last film. Much like the summer itself, this week’s pick is fine while it lasts…but it’s also ok when it ends.
A Brooklyn teen struggling with his sexuality and father’s terminal illness opts for summer distractions over facing reality.
Frankie’s maybe not having the best summer ever in a sort of you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here way.
By day, he chills with his muscly Brooklyn bros on the beach. By night, he gets turned on by naked dudes on Chatroulette. Desperately trying to avoid thinking about his dying father or face his mother’s disapproval, Frankie spends most of his time out and about…a titular beach rat?
Initially, Frankie seems interested in Simone, a girl he meets while at Coney Island watching fireworks he very symbolically finds dull. I may be digging a bit too much for symbolism here, but he seems most intrigued by Simone when she’s literally wrapped in a large yellow python.
Very much in the closet, Frankie is very hot and cold with Simone. Wanting to keep up the facade of his macho straight dude act, Frankie tries to hold onto Simone without getting too close. However, since he’s not at all interested in sex with Simone, this proves rather difficult.
At the same time, Frankie is very much interested in taking his Chatroulette adventures a step further and meeting up with men for sex. This is done rather sketchily in parks at night, though frequently includes the bonus of getting high.
When Frankie shares with his friends that he’s been pretending to be gay in order to get high, they predictably take this to a dark place, leaving Frankie morally conflicted.
2/5 Pink Panther Heads
Maybe it’s the muscle relaxers I’m on talking, but I’m falling asleep just thinking about this one. Not a whole lot happens in terms of plot, character development, or relationship building. Frankie is ok, but that’s about the strongest response I can convey about him. His choices are understandable but frustrating to watch as they keep him emotionally distant from his friends, family, and sexual partners. Though safe from rejection and homophobia, Frankie seems to have an emotionally empty life.
Also, I have come to the personal conclusion that I just don’t want full-frontal male nudity onscreen. More asses would be fine, but definitely not more dicks. What can I say–apparently I’m a PG-13 girl living in an R-rated world.