×

BearCity 2: The Proposal

More is less in "BearCity 2: The Proposal," Douglas Langway's sequel to his 2010 gay indie comedy.

With:
With: Gerald McCulloch, Joe Conti, Stephan Guarino, Brian Keane, Gregory Gunter, James Martinez, Alex Di Rio, Aaron Tone, Blake Evan Sherman, Susan Mosher, Jason Stuart, Richard Riehle, Kathy Najimy, T. Doyle Leverett.

More is less in “BearCity 2: The Proposal,” Douglas Langway’s sequel to his 2010 gay indie comedy. That original was split between charms and minuses, suffering primarily from careless scripting. Here, those faults are indulged wholesale, with so little attention paid to overall narrative development or individual scene-shaping that the bloated pic often suggests a crowd-funded venture existing solely to pay back (and showcase) the crowd. Theatrically launched via self-distribution Sept. 28, “Proposal” will access its niche aud in home formats, but auds won’t be clamoring for further chapters without some future quality control.

“BearCity” had several appealing performers and a few good plot elements, despite the first-time writer-helmer’s hazy grasp of pacing and story focus. Unfortunately, “Proposal” is even less disciplined, largely wasting the efforts of likable returning cast members and some ill-used new ones.

The three central couples are back, each suffering some relationship crisis. Aspiring young actor Tyler (Joe Conti) has now been cohabiting for a while with Roger (Gerald McCulloch), the been-around hunk at least twice his age. Roger is eager to get married, but Tyler balks at first. Once they’ve decided to go ahead with nuptials in Provincetown, each finds himself distracted by other options — Roger by sexy ex Nate (Aaron Tone), size-fixated Tyler by one Big Dan (T. Doyle Leverett).

Meantime, longer-term duo Fred (Brian Keane) and Brent (Stephen Guarino) are shooting a documentary — about gay male “bears,” what else — while avoiding their own commitment issues. Elsewhere, proportioned theatrical maven Michael (Gregory Gunter) is a workaholic and his trim lover, Carlos (James Martinez), spends hours on gay-hookup app “Scruff,” causing hiccups in their generally happy domestic union.

These strands are poorly advanced, however, with little real character insight apart from a surprising, admirable if abrupt climactic development that would be more potent if the lead figures didn’t constantly contradict their alleged deep feelings with shallow behavior. Instead of developing narrative involvement, Langway gets distracted by anything and everything, including seldom-funny roles for Kathy Najimy as a B&B owner, comedian Jason Stuart as an obnoxious filmmaking collaborator, and Richard Riehle and Susan Mosher as Tyler’s parents. Plus there are gratuitous gay micro-celebrity cameos, scenes that exist only to take advantage of Provincetown parties, etc.

Particularly given the six minutes of end credits devoted solely to donors, sponsors, investors and “background talent” (many of whom get their photos displayed), one suspects far more attention was paid to social networking than to finessing the film’s content. For lack of any standard organizing principal, like a solid script, “BearCity 2: The Proposal” begins to feel like a movie usurped by its product placements, except here the placements are of people who wanted to be part of it.

Guarino and Martinez in particular bring snap even to weak material; one wonders what they could do with halfway decent writing. Beyond the regulars, thesping is often as wobbly as the packaging, with lots of bad music (one Magnetic Fields track excluded).

Popular on Variety

BearCity 2: The Proposal

Production: A Sharpleft Studios production. Produced by Tracy Utley, Jim A. Lande, Henry White. Executive producers, White, David Stephen Martin, Lande. Directed, written by Douglas Langway.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Michael Hauer; editor, Langway; music, Peter Calandra; music supervisor, Margarita Sullivan; production designer, Stacey West; costume designer, Lydia Popper; sound, Derek Morse; sound designer, Eve Cuyen; assistant director, Ethan Lee; casting, Anne Teutschel. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Oct. 3, 2012. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: With: Gerald McCulloch, Joe Conti, Stephan Guarino, Brian Keane, Gregory Gunter, James Martinez, Alex Di Rio, Aaron Tone, Blake Evan Sherman, Susan Mosher, Jason Stuart, Richard Riehle, Kathy Najimy, T. Doyle Leverett.

More Film

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Flies to $1.5 Million on Thursday Night

    Action movie “Angel Has Fallen” has soared to $1.5 million at 2,600 North American locations in Thursday night previews. Christian drama “Overcomer” took in $775,000 during Thursday night previews at 1,563 locations. “Angel Has Fallen” has been tracking for a debut in the $12 million to $16 million range and will expand to 3,286 sites on [...]

  • Our Mothers Review

    Oscars: Belgium Sends Cannes Prizewinner 'Our Mothers' to International Feature Film Race

    Belgian-Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz’s feature debut, “Our Mothers,” will represent Belgium in the International Feature Film category at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Pyramide, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week and won the Golden Camera for best first film. “Our Mothers” is set in today’s Guatemala, a country riveted by the [...]

  • La vaca "The Cow"

    Alfredo Castro, Mia Maestro, Leonor Varela Cast in Francisca Alegria’s Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile  —  The much anticipated feature debut of Chilean Francisca Alegria, renowned for her magical short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” has firmed up its cast and shooting dates. Argentine thesp Mia Maestro (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Chile’s Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Blade 2”), Alfredo Castro (“From Afar,” “Museum”) [...]

  • 210819 Distribusjonsseminar DNF

    Haugesund: Nordic Distribution Panel Analyzes Recent Success Story 'Queen of Hearts'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  On Wednesday morning, shortly before this year’s New Nordic Films Works in Progress screening was due to begin, a handful of industry veterans sat for a panel that picked up right where last year’s WIP program left off. Presented in collaboration with Europa Distribution, the panel – called “The Value Chain: A [...]

  • L-R Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh

    Rafe Spall Leads Cast of Oscar Nominated Josh Lawson's 'Long Story Short'

    Rafe Spall, whose credits include “The Big Short” and “Shaun of the Dead,” leads the cast of romantic comedy “Long Story Short.” Studiocanal will handle worldwide sales on the film, which starts to shoot on Monday in Sydney, Australia. The movie is written and directed by Josh Lawson, who was Oscar nominated last year for [...]

  • Metro 2033

    Cult Sci-Fi Novel 'Metro 2033' to Be Adapted as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership Film Company – all part of Gazprom Media – have come together to produce a movie based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sci-fi novel “Metro 2033,” which has also been adapted as a video game. Filming is due to start next year. The Russian premiere of the movie [...]

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners'' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content