As part of my most recent soft core porn DVD mini-shopping spree, I picked up this film from 2002. I'm always terribly behind the curve on soft core porn/gay films, so 2002 is really not that bad for me. In real life, asses get better and worse as time passes, but on DVD, an ass that looked good in 2002 still looks just as good in 2007. Praise be to Thomas Edison.
Anyway. Food of Love is a film adaptation of a novel that b&c has read. (The novel, as it happens, is called The Page Turner. Please note that I am eschewing the obvious joke. Virtue and restraint such as mine are rare indeed.) In fact, when he saw that I'd gotten the DVD, he got very excited because he'd read the novel. Then, while I was on vacation, he unwrapped the DVD and watched it, so that when I returned, he was able to tell me a) that much of the dialogue in the film was lifted directly from the novel but that the seduction scene which takes place in Barcelona in the film took place in Rome in the book; and b) that Kevin Bishop has a nice ass.
Sadly, you don't see nearly enough of Kevin's (or anyone else's) ass in this movie. The seduction scene -- and some other scenes that take place in the Barcelona hotel room of Kevin's crush -- are appropriately wood inducing, but they don't go far enough, and there aren't enough of them. So Food of Love is pretty much a flop as soft core porn goes. It's meant to be a serious movie.
As a serious movie, it's occasionally entertaining. Most of the performances are decent, the notable exception being Mr. Bishop himself. He's fine when he's getting sexed up, and he's nearly adequate at being the semi-cynical, largely detached kept boy, but every time he has a scene where he has to show conflict with his mother (played admirably by Juliet Stevenson, who must wonder how she got cast opposite this amateur), he handles it by yelling instead of acting. He yells a lot.
The other glaring flaw with this movie is that someone decided to stick a PSA about safe sex in the middle of it. If you happen to be watching Food of Love and you get to a scene where Ms. Stevenson is attending a meeting at a friend's home, hit the next scene button on your DVD remote. You'll thank me. Unless, of course, you don't already know that if you're using a latex condom, you need to be using a water-based lubricant. Also, unprotected butt sex is, apparently, dangerous. Who knew?
I think maybe I'm losing my patience with coming of age movies. Or maybe just with coming of age movies that deal so heavily in coming to terms with one's own mediocrity. History Boys handles similar territory much, much more successfully. In the long run, pretty much everyone is mediocre: everybody should just get over it and have more sex, okay?
The non-coming of age aspects of Food of Love aren't much better. Is it just me, or is it unrealistic that a forty-year-old itinerant concert pianist (yeah, I know, all concert pianists are itinerant; I just like the word) and his fifty-something partner who have separate apartments in Manhattan would still be pretending that neither of them has sex with other people? Especially when there's nothing to suggest that they still have sex with each other.
But then, this is a movie that has a pretty jaded view of anyone who's gay and over twenty-five. I'm pretty sure that there must be at least a few gay men out there who don't a) only want to bed men less than half their age, b) lie to their partners about their extracurricular activities, and/or c) refer to their pets as their children.