Like You Mean It (2015)

PHILIPP KARNER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 2015.  , .  Screenplay by Philipp Karner.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Philipp Karner.  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  Bad Gay Movies.  

, who also writes and directs, plays a struggling actor in Los Angeles whose stressful professional life is weighing heavily on his private one.  He has been with boyfriend long enough that they openly discuss their commitment, and Karner does love him, but the daily grind of impersonal auditions that lead to nothing and the few dissatisfying gigs he gets are having an effect on him mentally.  His sister visits from his native Austria to deliver bad news from a family he has been avoiding and he begins to fear his mental health is sliding back into previous lows, leaving the hope that attending couples counseling with Milord is going to lead anywhere better than where he’s at.  Strong acting, beautiful photography and sexy chemistry between the leads are pluses for a sensitive film with good intentions, but there’s more misery than mystery to all the unanswered questions and this relatively short film eventually becomes something of a drag to sit through.  Karner’s character lacks the compulsion to fight against the tide, he sort of gives up on everything well before the film is over, leaving us to wonder why we shouldn’t do the same.

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