Film Reviews

"Bear City 2: The Proposal" Movie Review

Just because a completely conventional wedding comedy that happens to be about a group of gay men somehow finds a way to include a totally archetypal sassy gay friend doesn't necessarily mean that it's a complete construct of predigested genre conventions, though the '80s-style beach montage set to a fun pop song sort of pushes it in that direction. And maybe the younger groom's parents—the free-spirited mom, the crusty but loveable father—kind of start to tip the scale. Then there's a cooking montage filmed in honest-to-god Benny Hill speed cam, and you pretty much realize that director Douglas Langway's Bear City 2: The Proposal isn't going to challenge rom-com orthodoxy or cleverly subvert it or even elevate it. Oh, it has its moments: the presentation of the ring inside of a goateed Fleshlight, jokes about the proliferation of bear-scene documentaries, the general awesomeness of Kathy Najimy. And Langway's script has a whole lot of funny dialogue and sharp characterizations. Tyler (Joe Conti), a 23-year-old kid attracted to big, hairy masculinity, has found his match in the much-older Roger (Gerald McCullough), who surprises him one night with a proposal that, despite his assent, he isn't ready for. They celebrate by traveling with all of their friends to Bear Week in Provincetown, where various long-term relationships are challenged, commitments are demanded, and fusillades of repartee are exchanged. Comedian Stephen Guarino stands out as the ridiculously funny Brent, whose partner won't marry him "just because it's legal now." The film is funny, weepy, and hairy all the way to the barrel-chested—and utterly predictable—end.

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Chris Packham is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.