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The Art of Being Straight

Dir: Jesse Rosen

Rating: 2.5

Regent Releasing

77 Minutes

In our society, despite the increased awareness and acceptance regarding alternative lifestyles, there is still a palpable stigma regarding homosexuality both socially and in the workplace. This remains as a major challenge for many closeted gays and lesbians and for those who find themselves at the threshold of coming to terms with and finally embracing and freely expressing their sexual identity; The Art of Being Straight addresses this conundrum.

Enter Jon (director-star Jesse Rosen), a good-looking young man who has just arrived in Los Angeles supposedly taking a break from his long term girlfriend. Moving in with his ex-college friend Andy (Jared Grey), Jon falls in with Andy’s group of masculine jock-buddies with whom he plays basketball parties and drinks hard and chases women. Jon quickly lands a job in a major ad agency starting from the bottom of the ladder. Here he finds himself being both covertly questioned about his sexuality by a co-worker and overtly pursued by his new boss Paul (Johnny Ray Rodriquez). Outside of the workplace Jon finds this question derogatorily resurfacing towards him from Andy’s jock friends and inquisitively by Maddy (Rachel Costello) a close friend from college who happens to be currently living a lesbian lifestyle.

As the film progresses we see Jon, who after much drawn out resistance allow himself to be seduced by his boss. We also follow Maddy as confusion plays upon her as she thinks she’s falling for her handsome neighbor Aaron (Pete Scherer) only to find herself unable to go against her true sexual nature.

This is a film that I believe had sincere aspirations by its creator to sensitively explore the the “coming out” process and the struggle to embrace ones true sexual identity. Unfortunately it falls in its overall presentation somewhat short of its potential.

by Allyn Sterling

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