Monday, January 11, 2016
'Like You Mean It' DVD: Two Boys Somewhere Between Love and Indifference
The similarities between the gay-themed 2015 drama "Like You Mean It," which breaking glass pictures recently released on DVD, and the recently reviewed webseries "Feral" nicely show that gay men have come a long way baby regarding portraying them on screens ranging from 40 feet to four inches (no innuendo intended).
Both Mark in "Like" and "Feral" Billy are gay 20-something aspiring actors who are like many real and fictional folks all along the Kinsey scale. The relationship problems of these boys prompt frequent fantasies but do not prevent them from going about their daily lives or compel to pour their hearts out to their best fag hag while sipping sissy drinks in a gay bar with deafening disco music. Another similarity is that writer/director/star Philipp Karner of "Like" and "Feral" auteur Morgan Jon Fox base their productions on their own experiences.
Like "Feral," "Like" opens with what turns out to be a dream of an idealized version of a less-than-ideal relationship between our hero and his highly significant other. A literal and figurative rude awakening depicts the true nature of the relationship. Mark and live-in boyfriend Jonah get along roughly as well as any other long-term couple, but Mark simply misses the more romantic and intimate nature of their early courtship. Scenes that explicitly show the extent to which the honeymoon is over are sad because they are true. One partner valuing physical and emotional intimacy more than the other is another condition with which many of us in a long-term relationship can identify.
The related issues that Mark (and anyone else who has built a life with someone else) must face are the extent to which his relationship can improve and whether he is happier with Jonah than he would be without him. The related issue is the effectiveness of therapy and less formal role play and other therapeutic efforts.
An unexplored element of this conflict is the concept of the hierarchy of needs that includes the component that part of human nature is to always want greater happiness than we enjoy. In the context of gay relationships, a side effect of the legal and nearly general societal recognition of the right of two men to live in the same manner as straight couples is that these removed obstacles to domestic bliss can create distress regarding not maintaining the level of love and fun that gay actor Robert Reed pulled off regarding playing opposite Florence Henderson in "The Brady Bunch."
Once again similarly to many real-life relationships, the "Like" boys simply slowly become estranged and consequently unhappy. This is not a result of any dramatic development, such as substance (or domestic) abuse or another man. As stated above, the merely no longer are the honeymooners.
The DVD extras include a fun interview with Karner; the insights include amusing ancedotes related to having a very small budget.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Like" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.