Film Review: BROTHERLY LOVE (USA 2016) ***

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Brotherly Love Poster
A Brother in the Catholic Church must choose between his vow of chastity and the man he loves.

 

BROTHERLY LOVE (not to be confused with the 2015 Jamal Hill film with the identical title about an African American basketball player) is a gay romantic comedy about a brother (Brother Vito) who wants to become a Catholic priest as he navigates his love life and his true calling. 

Though the film sounds serious, it is definitely not.  It is totally fun, with a high joke hit/miss ratio that should have one, especially if one is gay laughing out loud every minute or so.  The reason the film is so funny is the way the film pokes fun at almost all the characters that are deliberately stereotyped – characters like the party boy, the old married queens, the new flamboyant young couples, the gay icons, dikes and more.

So, the questions posed in the film are: Which call do you answer?  The one from God? Or the one from your authentic self?  This is the dilemma at hand for Brother Vito (played by writer/director Anthony J. Caruso) as he must decide between becoming a brother or declaring his love for Gabe (Derek Babb).  Shot entirely in Austin, Texas and with a local cast and crew, Brotherly Love is a fresh take on the traditional gay love story.

The script is based on the novel ‘Seventy Times Seven’ by Salvatore Sapienza.  BROTHERLY LOVE has gone on to win many awards as:

 – GLITTER OKLAHOMA LGBT FILM FESTIVAL – Winner: Best Picture

– AUSTIN GAY & LESBIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Official Selection

– NEVADA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Winner: Best Feature Film

The film is not necessarily the best (straight) film by any standard, as evident in the lower than high production values, but it is thoroughly entertaining, and one can forgive a film for its flaws, if it makes one laugh.

The film’s exterior scenes, like a car pulling into the driveway look like something shot on a camcorder in a home video.  The acting is so bad, it is hilarious.  Main lead (and director) Caruso loves himself and gives himself unashamedly lots of glamour shots from start to finish.  He cannot stop rolling back his eyeballs whenever a gay remark is made or pretending to blush whenever sex is hinted yet.  It is this bad acting that adds to the film’s fun.  Anyone in the gay scene can appreciate the candour and behaviour of the actors and one cannot help but laugh at themselves.  Of the cast, the one that stands out is Chance McKee (what a name) who plays Tim, Vito’s best friend who tries his best throughout the film to convince Vito to indulge in sin and to leave the church.  Tim is the typical good-looking, campy queen ready at all times to please  any hunk of a man that comes his way.  At the White party he drags Vito along.  Who else can he ditch at the party so that the he can go back home with someone he will forget the next day?

The sex scene involving full nudity, that finally arrives after all that cock-teasing, is very erotic and necessary to show the strong bond between the two lovers.

Breaking Glass Pictures releases this tender coming-of-age drama BROTHERLY LOVE at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles on August 3, 2018 and on DVD/VOD worldwide on August 7, 2018.

Definitely worth a look!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1rZIY9DTks&feature=youtu.be

 Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

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