Wednesday, May 10, 2017

4th Man Out (2015)

Number Rolled: 54
Movie Name/Year: 4th Man Out (2015)
Tagline: Friends don’t let friends come out alone.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Tait Productions, Moving Pictures (III), Moving Pictures Artists
Producer: Lauren Avinoam, Lauren Hogarth, David LaHorgue, Katie Leary, Jed Mellick
Director: Andrew Nackman
Writer: Aaron Dancik
Actors: Parker Young, Evan Todd, Chord Overstreet, Jon Gabrus, Kate Flannery, Jennifer Damiano, Jordan Lane Price, Doug Moe, Alex Rennie, Brooke Dillman, Jake Epstein, Sean Hankinson, Drake Abshire, Heather Blair, Tommy Bracco, Nick Clark, Kenneth De Abrew, Brett Eidman, Danelle Eliav, Mitch Giannunzio, Brandon Gill, Laura Harrier, Lucas Hazlett
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: A young mechanic comes out to his extremely straight best friends. Once they get used to the idea, they’re determined to help him find the right guy.

Selina’s Point of View:
I loved this film, but it was definitely not what I was expecting.

Before my husband went to bed, I described to him what I expected. I can’t be specific with what those expectations were without spoiling things, but I can tell you that if I had swapped the order in which I mentioned my thoughts, I’d have been on point. That’s not a bad thing. I really didn’t see a lot of the film in my mind before it happened. I like that.

4th Man Out does go into some heavy subjects… but they’re subtle. It’s a film that really encourages the audience to check themselves and see if the thoughts they’re used to go down a bad road – but it’s done in a way that is FAR from preachy.

There’s comedy and cringe mixed with the emotional reality.

We all know that I don’t do well with cringe, however. That’s the only reason the film lost half a point for me. Personal taste. There were a couple of scenes I was hiding behind my forearms during. The cringe was powerful during those times, but they were few and far between.

I thought the angle the writer, Aaron Dancik, took on this tale was a great one. The main character wasn’t stereotypical and neither were his friends. Everything was just so relatable. Nothing felt weird or wrong. It was like watching four guys just living their life. That sounds like it could get boring – but I assure you it didn’t. I was glued to the screen for a good portion of the story.

That said, I’ll never understand the way some people react to a person coming out. It really shouldn’t matter if a person is interested in one set of genitalia or another… it doesn’t change anything. The rules are still the same. Personalities are still the same. The world is still the same.

In the end, if people use this film as a guide on how to handle a ‘coming out’ situation, they could find themselves really helping a loved one going through a rough time.

I wish my mom had seen some kind of film like this when I came out to her as bisexual. At the time, I was a teenager and the internet wasn’t really what we know it as yet. She asked my cousin to speak to me about it, to try to help me (he was out), but he couldn’t be bothered with me. If she had seen a film like this one, she might have understood better.

Kudos to Dancik, director Andrew Nackman (Paulie, How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich, The B-Boys), and all the wonderful actors involved in this project. You really created something special here.

(As a side note, this is Aaron Dancik’s only IMDb credit. Out of curiosity, I went looking around on social media for him and noted that many of his friends on Facebook share the names of characters in this film. I’m wondering if it’s possible that 4th Man Out is based on a true story – or if just the character personalities/names were. I’d love to know more about that.)

Cat’s Point of View:
I really enjoyed this movie – even more so than I originally anticipated. 4th Man Out featured in the #11 spot in my Top 20 Movies for February of 2016. I can say with certainty now that the movie delivered everything that the trailer promised. Honestly, what I said in February of last year is the best summary for the film – “…a funny ‘dudes being dudes with their dudes’ movie, but at the same time it’s also a heartwarming coming-out tale.”

Sometimes when you get movies like this, the interactions feel a little forced – or the characters come off a little over-the-top and playing to stereotypes. I loved that this film didn’t fall in that trap – in fact, it seemed to poke fun at those very tropes at the same time. There was a nice balance between comedic and the more emotional dramatic elements. The movie is foremost a comedy, but it does touch on real issues that someone coming out faces; and it does it with a light touch so you don’t feel like, as an audience member, you’re being preached at.

I can’t think of a single cast member that dropped the ball here, either. I was buying everything that this film was selling. The friendship between the core characters felt real – and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the actors still kept in touch after the cameras stopped rolling. I’d like to think so, at least. Understandably, they’re not the same as their characters, but they just had this organic chemistry.

What blows my mind a bit here, is that this writer and director team just came out of nowhere and captured lightning in a bottle. 4th Man Out is the feature film directorial debut for Andrew Nackman (Paulie, How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich, The B-Boys), and this movie is the only credit for writer Aaron Dancik. I did some poking around of my own to make sure IMDb wasn’t just suffering from lack of updates on his listing. This is it. Talk about kismet, though.

Beyond all the new talent exploding everywhere here, this movie was filmed in only 17 days in upstate New York. Understandably, there aren’t any fancy special effects to speak of – no one was sitting in the ‘make up’ chair for hours getting prosthetics, or that sort of thing. The straightforward approach of the movie likely saved them quite a lot of time. I’m impressed.

This is definitely a must-see movie for anyone seeking a little better understanding of LGBTQ people and their lives. I would recommend it in a heartbeat.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 55%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 69%
Metascore - 43/100
Metacritic User Score – 6/10
IMDB Score – 6.6/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

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