Tan Lines

"OK"

Tan Lines Review


The young surfers and skate rats who hang around their small Australian beach town complaining that nothing's going on couldn't be more wrong. In fact, the town is full of wild plot developments. Tan Lines covers a lot of action over a very short period of time. It's actually quite a busy little village.

Young Midget Hollow (Jack Baxter) enjoys surfing, drinking, and hanging out with his best friend Dan (Jed Clarke) because his home life is a mess. Mom is some sort of addict who never emerges from beneath the blankets on her bed. To make money, he takes a job that he calls "gardening" but actually consists of orally servicing a teenage girl while her crazy aunt watches and instructs her to comport herself in an appropriate manner while he's doing his thing. It's highly odd and utterly unexplained.

And it's especially uncomfortable for Midget because he's gay, a fact that comes to the fore when Dan's handsome and gay older brother Cass (Daniel O'Leary), a dead ringer for INXS's Michael Hutchence, returns home after running away for four years in the wake of a scandal involving him and a male high school teacher. Wow.

Midget is drawn to the magnetic and laconic Cass, and they begin a hot and heavy (and secret) romance, complete with lots of sex filmed in frustratingly dark and muddy digital video. It's refreshing that Midget doesn't suffer the usual doubts and fears that most gay coming-of-age films traffic in. Once he's up and running with Cass, he's dreaming of an out and proud life away from his suffocating home town, "maybe in Paris."

But when Cass's parents return from an extended vacation only to find that Dan has turned their house into party central, Cass has returned after four years, and Midget is in Cass's bed, you know there's going to be an excruciatingly uncomfortable (and clichéd) conversation around the dining room table. Again Midget doesn't shrink into himself. On the contrary, he's aggressive and confrontational, pushing hard because he really believes that he and Cass are going to run away and live happily ever after.

Midget won't be granted quite the happy ending he's hoping for, and Tan Lines gets credit for ending without a corny explosion of pink hearts and tweeting birds. You'll also chuckle at the religious images of popes and saints hanging in Cass's bedroom who come to life in Midget's mind, bicker in Italian, and tease him about his sexuality. Says one pope, "There's enough sperm in those sheets to make the washing machine pregnant." Ha! But overall, Tan Lines is a minor effort, with such flashes of originality frustratingly few.

And now we breakdance.



Tan Lines

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 24th July 2007

Distributed by: Peccadillo Pictures Ltd.

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ed Aldridge

Producer: Christian Willis

Starring: Jack Baxter as Midget Hollows

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