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If you walk into BearCity2: The Proposal thinking that you’re about to see a nature documentary, then you’re clearly not this film’s target audience.
A sequel to 2010’s BearCity, this comedy continues the story of that film’s central couple, Tyler (Joe Conti) and the older Roger (Gerald McCullouch), who are soon to be headed down the aisle. Cue a bachelor party trip to — where else? — Provincetown, during Bear Week, where hirsute, brawny and overweight gay men go to party.
The ensuing complications — Tyler’s straitlaced parents experience culture shock, with the father finding himself constantly referred to as “Daddy” for not quite the reason he imagines — will be familiar to anyone who’s seen Sex and the City, or indeed any romantic comedy of the last few decades.
Director/screenwriter Doug Langway certainly seems to know his milieu, depicted here in a freewheeling, fun way that should do wonders to boost Provincetown tourism, not that it needs any help. The endless cavorting and quipping is occasionally interrupted by dramatic moments involving commitment issues and, in the film’s most timely element, the effects of the legalization of gay marriage on long-term relationships.
Unfortunately, the thin storyline isn’t substantial enough to sustain the nearly two-hour running time. Despite the profusion of witty one-liners — many delivered by the very funny Stephen Guarino as the couple’s wisecracking friend who has relationship problems of his own — staleness sets in quickly. It’s only partly alleviated by the presence of the winning Kathy Najimy as a den mother-type B&B proprietor and a procession of cameos ranging from drag performer Varla Jean Merman to filmmaker Kevin Smith. If the latter didn’t happen to be straight, he would clearly have no trouble finding a date among this crowd.
Opens Sept. 28 (TLA Releasing)
Production: BearCity Limits II
Cast: Gerald McCullouch, Joe Conti, Stephen Guarino, Brian Keane, Gregory Gunter, James Martinzez, Susan Mosher, Jason Stuart, Richard Riehle, Kathy Najimy
Director/screenwriter/editor: Doug Langway
Producers: Jim Lande, Tracy Utley
Executive producers: David Stephen Martin, Henry White
Director of photography: Michael Hauer
Costume designer: Lydia Popper
Composers: Mark Andersen, Peter Calandra
Not rated, 110 min
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