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The Dark Side of Love

If prolificacy and enterprise were enough, one-man band Jorge Ameer might seem one of the preeminent gay Amerindie filmmakers of recent years.

Cast:
With: Carlos Salas, Harsha First, Raquel Rosser, Jason Susag, Chrissy Randall, Thomas Anderson, Marcelle Lee.

If prolificacy and enterprise were enough, one-man band Jorge Ameer might seem one of the preeminent gay Amerindie filmmakers of recent years. Unfortunately, there seems to be little evolution from the ineptitude of prior efforts like 2003’s “The Singing Forest” to achieve even guilty-pleasure status. “The Dark Side of Love” is part undeveloped gay love story, part superficial estranged-siblings family drama, and all talky tedium. Opening a brief Los Angeles engagement today with Ameer’s even worse “D’Agostino,” it will struggle for exposure in any format.

Wealthy young bachelor Steven (Harsha First) allows himself to be auctioned off at a charity event, then is appalled when the winning bidder hands him over to hotel waiter Julian (Carlos Salas). Steven protests he’s heterosexual; Julian insists he’ll demand nothing. Yet the two end up getting drunk and bonding. Steven even tags along when Julian must wrap up his late mother’s affairs and reunite with junkie brother Michael (Jason Susag), who’s brought girlfriend Chanel (Raquel Rosser) with him. Perfs range from adequate to amateur, ditto assembly, but the script’s mix of listless melodrama, loose ends and clueless psychology prove fatal.

The Dark Side of Love

Production: A Hollywood Independents release and production in association with A.J. Prods., Casa Granada and the Big Kitchen. Produced by Jorge Ameer. Executive producers, Ameer, Mark Le Bonte, Judy Beauty Forman. Directed, written by Jorge Ameer.

Crew: Camera (color), Xavier Henselmann; editor, Ameer. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 19, 2012. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Carlos Salas, Harsha First, Raquel Rosser, Jason Susag, Chrissy Randall, Thomas Anderson, Marcelle Lee.

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