Review: ‘Redwoods’

Film is an innocuous gay romance in sore need of more character and narrative development.

Showing some, if not nearly enough, advancement since his prior features, “Under One Roof” and “Rock Haven,” writer-director David Lewis’ “Redwoods” is an innocuous gay romance in sore need of more character and narrative development. Set against the appealing backdrop of Northern California redwood country this tepid drama should find its niche in Netflix queues. TLA plans a fall theatrical release as part of a gay and lesbian multifeature package, though the pic seems better suited to the smallscreen.

An ill-defined relationship between small-town lovers Everett (Brendan Bradley) and Miles (Tad Coughenour) evidently soured some time ago, as Miles now treats Everett like a housekeeper; they’re raising disabled child Billy (Caleb Dorfman). When Miles and Billy take a trip, Everett’s Mr. Right suddenly falls from the sky in the form of visiting writer Chase (Matthew Montgomery). The duo soon surrender to their mutual passion, but Everett is torn between true love and responsibility. Montgomery manages some charm, but one-dimensional writing hobbles the other perfs. Careless credibility gaps, flatfooted dialogue and an oddball resolution also trouble the otherwise pokily earnest tale. Joe E. Rivera’s location lensing is the package highlight.

Redwoods

Production

A TLA release of a Funny Boy Films production. Produced by Bill Gollihur. Executive producers, Raymond Murray, Kirkland Tibbels, Richard Wolff. Directed, written by David Lewis.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-DigiBeta), Joe E. Rivera; editor, Mathias Hilger; music, Jack Curtis Dubowsky; art director, Blake Manship. Reviewed at Frameline, San Francisco, June 24, 2009. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Brendan Bradley, Matthew Montgomery, Tad Coughenour, Caleb Dorfman, Elinor Bell, Clara Brighton.
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