Thoughtful, entertaining and a helpful guide for gay men looking to find and keep "Mr. Right." The film sheds light on why many gay men have the desire to be in long-term relationships, but sometimes find it difficult to make them work. Understanding the effort and commitment required, along with the rewards, of a long-term relationship is important for many gay men and couples.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2016
I don't understand why such a film has to start out with and mostly stay on images of young men in speedos and men playing sports! There hardly was anyone on there over 40! What the film would have benefited from was comments from older gay men who could offer their lived experiences. This is the problem with gay culture in general; it's focused on the pretty young thing. (I came out in my early 20s and believe me, the years have flown by so fast so that now I still am a single, gay man of 60 who isn't looked at twice very often and who could've used some kind of "gay education" on love! Now, I think it is true that youth is wasted on the young.) <<sigh>> To all you younger men, remember that "life isn't a dress rehearsal"! Make the most of your emotional connections and don't spend all your time in the bars. Try to find nearby LGBT community centers, volunteer, etc.
I commend the producers and willing participants in this "how-to" guide to healthy gay/lesbian relationships. The emphasis here is on gay men, but the principles of finding and working-out relationships of all kinds, are the same regardless of the coupled gender mix. I really appreciated the emphasis here on the analysis part of gay male relationships. The film spends time analyzing why gay men in relationships often fail. It is partly gender, partly psychosocial. Nonetheless, the primary message that cannot be overemphasized and which the film's therapists and participants repeat is: "KNOW THYSELF." It won't be easy work, but know yourself and be aware of the impact that growing-up being rejected and judged has had on your self-esteem and value as a human being. While there are other layers that affect an individual's development (i.e., political and cultural matters), familial dysfunction is probably the primary influence and the most convoluted and challenging to 'unpack'. Familial dysfunction is the norm in American families (and international families also). The PBS popular family psychologist, John Bradshaw (not in this film) once commented that 98% of American families are dysfunctional and the other 2% are in denial, in other words, you are not alone. In the case of families with gay children, the dysfunction may increase exponentially (or so it seems) and impacts the gay individual in ways that are delayed in terms of their emergence and the ability of the individual to confront the issues. My own belief is that the damage of familial dysfunction never goes away--the pain, with all of the attendant symptoms (e.g., broken relationships, isolation, addiction, etc.) will emerge unless the individual goes through intense therapy either on their own or with the help of a licensed professional. The individual must be aware of this and how it could impact any potentially long-term committed relationship. Given that the familial dysfunction (in my opinion) never goes away, the individual must seek healthy ways to find solace and comfort. A long-term relationship, may be a means of providing that solace and comfort, HOWEVER, both individuals need to be aware of each other's history and know that it is going to be serious work. If the two people involved are not aware of the dysfunction in each other's past, the relationship could be tantamount to a co-dependency, in which the two individuals do NOT provide validation, support, sympathy and love, but only judgment, criticism, blame and discomfort. In this latter instance, the relationship is no better than drug addiction, alcoholism, sociopathic sabotage, eating disorders, etc., etc. None of these provide the healthy solace and comfort dysfunctional individuals need. Younger gay individuals rarely appreciate this important step and find themselves going from partner to partner, thinking they want a relationship of substance, but unaware of the ways to begin the process. This film posits that the process starts with the individual. Know yourself. Get therapy, if you need it, but do not inflict yourself on anyone else till you've fully vetted your familial history and your past and the impact it is having and will have on all your life, including your relationships.
Definitely has some valid points and reopens up the gay fads of our culture which is well received. It also however does teach some nuances about how to learn about yourself through no means other than your own self digging and revealing. What I appreciated most and also made me tear up was when The Ant-comic spoke "Until you can love you enough to be honest with you, that perfect guy isn't going to come along, although he is there. I have to agree with this conclusively. Even so as I immediately wanted to disagree there's so much depth and liberation in the admittance. Thank you Chris! This film is exactly what I needed to witness and take some notes on!
Now I normally do not get all excited about a. . . documentary. At all. But this was one that's really been long in coming for those who are part of the Broken Hearts Club.
If you have an hour, and want to know more about the gay community, and why it's so difficult to find a date, or be in a monogamous, long-term relationship; why gay men have been so shallow, or even why it's just so difficult to connect with others (besides the fact that they're shallow), this will probably give you a lot of answers to those questions.
All in all, it's really refreshing to see purely gay men being open and honest about the long-term relationship scene in the gay world, and providing the answers to help correct that. (I was also surprised by some of the statistics they have, such as only 1/3 - 1/2 of gay men are in relationships, and only 50% in relationships are monogamous.)
If you're looking to better your life, or your prospects for finding Mr. Right, then I highly recommend this video.
It's only an hour, but it's got a strong yet very relaxed message, and I think everyone should watch it.