This sharp, well-written and played gay drama feels a bit like a play, since it mainly features two characters in an extended conversation. But the setting is striking: an isolated desert house east of Los Angeles. And the actors are sexy and engaging.
Lucas Near-Verbrugghe plays Dean, a graphic artist who isn’t quite ready to admit that middle age is just around the corner. And as he’s pondering his age, he gets a message from his ex, Alex (Aaron Costa Ganis), with whom he shared a passionate summer romance that ended abruptly. Wanting to understand why Alex vanished 15 years ago, Dean invites him to come stay at his desert getaway in Joshua Tree. Of course, their old lust flares up, followed by the difficult task of picking through what happened all those years ago.
Writer-director Tim Kirkman uses this superb location beautifully, while both actors bring charisma and thoughtfulness to their roles, sparking hot chemistry between them. Flashbacks fill in their history, offering some strikingly honest insight into how men make connections. Even more intriguing is the way the story explores the nature of memory as these guys try to figure out where they were back then, and who they are now as a result.
The plot unfolds through revelations and confrontations that cleverly peel back the layers in both characters, shifting their conversation into new directions. It’s easy to identify with their basic needs for sex, romance and security. And even more powerful is how the film evokes how it feels to know that someone out there used.