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'Big Gay Love' struggles with big themes

The discombobulated 'Big Gay Love' is hiding a sweet, funny, universal story

There’s a sweet, funny, universal story hiding in the corners of the discombobulated comedy “Big Gay Love.” Writer-director Ringo Le seems aware of his thematic intentions, but he’s fuzzy on how to execute them. The result is a thin, wanly structured film that, after an OK start, stumbles about, filling time until its foregone conclusion. 

Bob (Jonathan Lisecki) is a kindly, self-deprecating party planner convinced that, given his chubby frame and average looks, he’ll never find what he terms his “big gay love.” That is, until handsome chef and budding author Andy (Nicholas Brendon) shows interest, and an awkward, lurching romance develops.

A series of weak, contrived obstacles torpedo Bob and Andy’s relationship far too early in the proceedings. With nowhere to go, Le presses on with a mishmash of scenes largely involving Bob’s subsequent pity party. These include Bob flirting with liposuction, dealing with flighty friends Chase (Phong Truong) and Aidan (Todd Stroik), and deflecting his annoying if spirited mother, Betty (Ann Walker, a bright light). Le then throws in a lengthy dream sequence that gives way to some convoluted reality.

Overly broad bits and on-the-nose sentiment aside, the main problem with this skin-deep exploration of gay attraction is its attempted “Beauty and the Beast”-like pairing of Bob and Andy. Bob, at least as played by the often engaging Lisecki, isn’t the troll he considers himself to be (a stint at Weight Watchers and he’d be good to go), while Andy is hardly the “Greek god” he’s dubbed here. On the other hand, if that’s Le’s point, then it’s just one of several that go underdeveloped.


“Big Gay Love”

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Playing: At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles

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