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Reviews: Film and Book reviews

Wed 23 Jun, 2010
By Robert Ingham

They have a ritual of going into each bar and peeling off chat-line after chat-line with immediate results

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A Four Letter Word

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A Four Letter Word is a sweet rom-com about Luke, a stereotypical gay man interested only in going out with his mates to the local bars and pulling guys for one night stands.

They have a ritual of going into each bar and peeling off chat-line after chat-line with immediate results, but it takes a rebuff from the hunky Stephen to pique Luke’s interest and make him think there is more to life than just random 1-2-1s with strangers and no commitment.

However when Stephen turns out to also be Nico, a high-end escort, and more secrets are revealed, Luke is thrown into a world of confusion and angst as he tries to deal with his emotions.

Luke works in a Chelsea sex store (which never seems to have more than 1 customer at a time) with Zeke, a gay guy who wants to change the world and their beliefs - a gay crusader if you will - and seems to be Luke’s conscience, telling him where he’s going wrong, but allowing Luke to get on and figure it out for himself.

Across town, actor/barman Peter is moving in with his boyfriend Derek while his restaurant boss Marilyn is planning her wedding and attending AA meetings, where an attractive woman admits she fancies her which causes Marilyn to question her own sexual identity and sobriety.

It doesn’t sound much like a beacon of sunshine so far, but the best moments in comedy come from when people are placed in situations they’ve never been in before and are left to cope. This film is no exception. It is full of stereotypes, from twinks trying to pull everything in sight to the obligatory fag-hag who loves “her boys” and will think nothing of resting their weary heads on her ample bosom.

It is also packed with all the clichés you hate to see in soaps and films with a gay character. As the film opens it is quite uncomfortable viewing to watch Luke and his friends parade around the bar in such a fashion but it is this stereotyping which makes the film work the way it does. Writers Jesse Archer (who also plays Luke) and Casper Andreas have produced a movie which holds a mirror up to how some people perceive the gay world, and then pokes a stick at it, making fun of it along the way.

It is purely the mix of stereotypes and clichés which give the film its heart as we all recognise the characters as people we have seen in gay bars and clubs, or are already part of our lives in some way.

One other aspect worth catching is the rather delicious Charlie David, who plays Stephen. Charlie was in the cult series Dante’s Cove, an utterly ridiculous but strangely compelling show about witches and magic on the island of Dante’s Cove. Here, he gets to really vent his muscles – acting and otherwise and he is a seriously sexy piece of beefcake, which makes the sex scenes even more riveting.

A Four Letter Word is hugely entertaining and it’s great to see TLA producing some great titles. This film is a four letter word for fun, frisky and fabulously fruity with its heart on its sleeve, just like Luke’s character, and is a welcome addition to your DVD collection.

A Four Letter Word is a TLA Releasing film.


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