Fair Haven (2016)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.   

USA, 2016, Story by , Kerstin Karlhuber, Screenplay by Jack Bryant.  Cinematography by Jason Beasley.  Produced by , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.

James has just returned to his small Vermont town after having been in what we find out was gay conversion therapy for a number of weeks. His father () wants him to take over running their apple orchard, which has been in the family for a few generations, but James still wants to pursue his career in music as a concert pianist, now galvanized by his renewed devotion to his Christian faith and determination to find love with a woman. When he makes a delivery to a local store for his dad, he runs into Charlie, the young man with whom he had an affair before being sent away to therapy, and finds himself in danger of renewing old habits while trying to get a relationship going with a young woman his father introduces him to. While touching on a very upsetting and disturbing trend in American society of thinking young gay people can be brainwashed into walking the straight and narrow, this film fails to have much of an effect on its audience thanks to a dreary dramatic tone and a lack of specific context to what is happening: it’s impossible to know if James went to therapy because of his own doubts of himself or if it was his father who sent him (Wopat’s character doesn’t seem to have much anxiety about anything other than making sure his son doesn’t go away), and when James decides to jump back into things with Charlie, it causes him no conflict about the “progress” he had been making up to that point. Good acting elevates the bad writing and lazy direction, and is credible as the therapist who, in flashbacks, gives James his personal doubts, but the two young men at the centre have no chemistry and their relationship isn’t inspiring.

2 thoughts on “Fair Haven (2016)

  1. I liked “Fair Haven” more than you did. If you want another unintentionally campy conversion therapy film check out 2007’s “Save Me.” Chad Allen and Robert Gant are sent to a Christian conversion center run by Judith Light. It takes itself dead serious which, of course, makes it ridiculous.

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