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March 21, 2009

Regular Guys

by Franz Patrick


Regular Guys (1996)
★★ / ★★★★

I thought it was weird how this movie was filmed in the ’90s but it looks like it’s made in the early ’80s. The soundtrack didn’t help either so I assumed that the story was set in the ’80s. However, later on, one of the characters stated that it’s the ’90s and it’s “pretty much anything goes” when it comes to sexual orientations. There are a lot of things in this picture that worked for me but there are also things that did not work. I thought the two leads–Christoph M. Ort and Tim Bergmann–playing the cop and car mechanic, respectively, had chemistry and the way their characters interacted was natural. When the focus is on them, the film becomes stronger because it is able to explore different dimensions of masculity/femininity and straight/gay/bisexuality. Carin C. Tietze’s role as the sexually ambigious new partner of Ort also had something to bring to the table. The movie becomes a lot weaker when it tries too hard to bring forth the comedy. The bit about the stolen cars and homophobic cops were like subplots from a completely different movie. Not to mention the strange revelation in the end about a particular character’s sexual orientation. Those distracting elements slowed this film down significantly. If half or all of those elements were eliminated, I would’ve given this a recommendation. It’s a shame because the script has intelligence and I liked that this picture is filmed in a female’s perspective (arguably). Yes, there’s male nudity but there is no graphic sex scene. Everything is tender so it is able to focus on the sexual frustration that the two leads experience. There’s a stark contrast between American gay films and European gay films. In the latter, it’s not afraid to show what real bodies look like, while the former almost often showcases the ideal.

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