Shared Rooms is a movie that depicts gay male middle class life at its finest. It shows zero political awareness, which is refreshing nowadays, and is full of naughty penis jokes. Shared Rooms is a small movie, stilted and often silly, but I did find myself enjoying it.
There are three situations, all with the theme of ‘shared rooms’. In the first, a gay couple inherit a rejected gay nephew, suddenly making them ‘parents’. The second episode features a gay man who is renting out his absent roommate’s room. When the roommate suddenly shows up due to cancelled plans, they are forced to sleep together, causing all sorts of situations. In the third, two mostly nude guys hook-up online and it leads to a real connection. Thank God for the nudity, of which there is much. Almost everyone shows a little skin. The hot guys parade around a lot, but even the comedians hired to do the funny heartfelt roles have a bedroom scene, albeit augmented with lots of blankets.
Sometimes, it’s just enough to watch a movie about the lives of cis white gay males, an endangered breed, but beloved nonetheless. There are humorous moments of embarrassing sexual innuendo, an impassioned speech about familial rejection from the gay nephew, and there’s even a Christmas theme. The acting veers from wooden to soap opera. At a certain point, though, I had to admit that regardless of cliches, turgidness, and nice sweaters, I found myself sucked into these tales of gay maleness. I wondered about inheriting a gay nephew, or trying not to succumb to a hot roommate’s charms. And yes, I wish the movie had ended in a big orgy, but instead it ends in a big house party where all the plot points are conveniently tied up, followed by a suprise voice over that comes out of nowhere.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. I know viewers who could not get past the opening dinner scene with its entry level comedy and ripe overacting, but let’s be honest - we’ve all been to those kind of dinners in real life. There are so few movies about plain old gay men nowadays, why not enjoy the few that we have? Especially the ones with lots of nudity.
SHARED ROOMS is availalbe on iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and , and also the U.S. and Canada on DVD via Wolfe Video.