'The 10 Year Plan': Outfest Review

Courtesy of Cinema 175
Attractive actors can't triumph over the pallid script for this gay romantic comedy.

This gay romantic comedy focuses on two best friends who try to postpone the inevitable.

Audiences at Outfest often demand little more than a parade of attractive, shirtless actors. And so a huge crowd turned out to see The 10 Year Plan, which delivered the requisite visual enticements but little else. A flimsy script and feeble performances ultimately sink the picture.  It won't have any life beyond the festival circuit.

The premise is a familiar one that we've seen in romantic comedies about straight couples. Two best friends make a pact that if they are still single in ten years, they will try to settle down together, even though they don't seem especially compatible. Myles (Jack Turner) is a lawyer and a hopeless romantic who dreams of cooking dinner for Mr. Right.  Brody (Michael Adam Hamilton) is a cop who revels in one-night stands. Cut to nine years and eleven months later. As the deadline approaches, they try desperately to avoid the commitment they promised rather cavalierly.  

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Writer-director J.C. Calciano is obviously hoping to craft a gay variation on a classic romantic comedy. But where is Philip Barry when you need him? Today's writers, gay or straight, fail to match the sparkling, witty dialogue that seemed to flow effortlessly from the pens of many writers in past decades. Plot complications also seem to confound the filmmaker.  There's the potential for humor when Myles and Brody both end up dating the same guy (Adam Bucci), but the explosive comic climax that we anticipate never materializes.

Supporting characters also stir memories of vintage romantic comedies. Myles' law partner (Teri Reeves) is the kind of salty but supportive pal who's been in dozens of other movies, but she needs better wisecracks. The best character is Brody's straight partner on the police force, who's surprisingly tolerant and even insightful about gay relationships.

Moronai Kanekoa, who plays the straight cop, also gives the best performance in the movie. The two leads are photogenic but not really charismatic. Hamilton has a winning smile, and Turner looks good in his skivvies, yet they struggle to bring any panache to their quips.

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The LA-set picture is well photographed by Pawel Pogorzelski, with no more originality in the visual compositions than there is in the script complications. By the time the inevitable happy ending arrives, we're too dispirited to care about the outcome.

Cast: Jack Turner, Michael Adam Hamilton, Moronai Kanekoa, Teri Reeves, Adam Bucci
Director-screenwriter-producer: J.C. Calciano
Executive producer: Matthew Solari
Director of photography: Pawel Pogorzelski
Production designer: Heidi Strykiewicz
Costume designer: Yesenia Correa
Editor: Vahe Douglas
Music: Christopher Farrell
No rating, 90 minutes.

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