OK, just, not great… But the book is better.

13 Jan

Last night SBS showed in their late-night “erotica” spot a curiosity — a Spanish gay movie in English based on a novel by US writer David Leavitt: Food of Love. I only saw the second half, I have to admit, but it had its good points. The very well-heeled older gay couple, kevin_bishopinto whose life the very handsome 18-year-old comes, captured well much of the tension and indeed cynicism one finds in such circles, judging from my very limited experience of well-heeled (Eastern suburbs) Sydney gay couples and nil experience of the New York equivalents, aside from literary representations. You couldn’t help thinking they deserved each other. The star of the movie really was Juliet Stevenson as Pamela, mother of Paul, the 18-year-old, though Kevin Bishop did a good job in that role and certainly was seriously spunky. But it was only just an OK movie, veering too often into bad… There were good moments though; I don’t think I missed much by only seeing the second half. See more opinions on the IMDb site.

Note: some adult content below the fold.

Now the book. That too involved food, lots of it, and most of it dreadful. It seems Americans, or young ones at least, actually eat all that stuff they have through various franchises inflicted on the rest of the world. They certainly do in Half-Life by first-time novelist Aaron Krach (Alyson 2004). Yes it is another gay coming-of-age story, but it is better than most. Don’t let what I said about food put you off, as I suspect the author actually wants such a reaction. In the midst of a plastic, decentred culture much that is real and indeed poignant is in fact going on.

Two weeks before high school graduation and the geography of 18 year-old Adam Westman’s life is about to change dramatically. Many of the familiar landmarks will remain—his best friend Dart riding shotgun; the suburban house where he lives with his dad and younger sister; and the numerous on-ramps and off-ramps that connect him to his hometown of Angelito in the center of centerless Los Angeles. But when death and love, perhaps, arrive unexpectedly, Adam must learn that trouble sometimes has to rumble through a tidy world to make room for the kind of magical connections that make life worth living.

I would not put it among the best reads of the year so far, though it does go close, and I do recommend it. It will be worth watching for future novels by this writer.

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Posted by on January 13, 2007 in Cultural and other, Films, DVDs, TV, gay life/issues, Reading


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