Review: ‘BearCity’

A variably klutzy and disarming gay indie romantic comedy that meanders here and there during its overlong course.

Skinny, smooth “cub” seeks hairy older “daddy” in “BearCity,” a variably klutzy and disarming gay indie romantic comedy that meanders here and there during its overlong course. Helmer/co-writer Doug Langway’s first feature has the right basic elements for niche DVD and cable success, but its overly digressive storytelling cries out for considerable tightening, preferably at the script-development stage.

Twenty-year-old aspiring actor Tyler (Joe Conti) is too embarrassed to tell his compulsively thin Chelsea-boy peers about his jones for ampler flesh. Sneaking off to a Manhattan bear bar, he’s adopted by an older couple (likable Brian Keane as lusty Fred, delightfully droll Stephen Guarino as jaded nester Brent). They offer him room to rent, while differing on resultant menage-a-trois prospects. Meanwhile, Tyler pursues their stud-about-town pal Roger (a charming Gerald McCullough), who’s reluctant to let his A-list “muscle bear” pals know he’d fall for a mere “twink.” “Bear City” has many agreeable aspects, including one strong subplot with a conflicted fat/slim couple, but is notably repetitious and wayward at times, especially during one late romantic tangent that’s pure red herring. Assembly is decent.



A TLA Releasing presentation of a Sharpleft Studios production. Produced by Heidi H. Hamelin, Lewis Tice. Executive producers, Derek Curl, Tice, Henry White, Jim A. Lande. Directed by Douglas Langway. Screenplay, Langway, Lawrence Ferber.


Camera (color, HD), Michael Hauer; music, Kerry Muzzey; editors, Langway, Gerald C. Fernando; music supervisor, Margarita Sullivan; production designer, Racey North; costume designer, Kathryn Moser. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 10, 2010. (In Frameline -- U.S. Features; NewFest, Outfest.) Running time: 105 MIN.


Joe Conti, Gerald McCulloch, Stephen Guarino, Brian Keane, Gregory Gunter, James Martinez, Sebastian La Cause, Alex Di Dio.
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