That gay cinema staple, a sensitive lad’s formative jock crush, is given protracted replay in David Oliveras’ “Watercolors.” High school flashback serves up time-tested cliches in humorless monochrome, coming off like an Afterschool Special plus nudity. Regent/Here plans U.S. theatrical exposure later this year, but prospects look to skew smallscreen.
Bespectacled aspiring artist Danny (Tye Olson) meets new student Carter (Kyle Clare, resembling Sean Penn in “Fast Times in Ridgemont High”), rebellious loner and competitive swimmer, after their parents meet in AA. Shoved together, the boys get along OK, with Carter surprisingly willing to tease — perhaps even satisfy — Danny’s ill-hidden desires. Still, he refuses to publicly befriend him. These and other conflicts are bluntly but not especially credibly drawn, with rote character definition (the main homophobic bully looks like a Nazi skinhead), clumsily sprung plot twists, awkward framing sequences, some poor dialogue and a hokey tragic climax. Add one hilariously arty sex scene, Greg Louganis and Karen Black in supporting roles, an “original” score via Bach, and the technically adequate pic would be campy fun if it weren’t so ponderous.