The recent indie foreign art-house gay-themed DVD from tla releasing "Aya Arcos" has the live-stage vibe of the better films in the always good titles from this division of LGBT home-video leader tla video. The star-crossed lovers this time are 21 year-old Fabio, who practices the oldest profession in the world on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, and middle-aged author Eduardo. The trick (pun intended) to making their relationship work is getting Fabio to take life more seriously while simultaneously getting Eduardo to loosen up. The health hazards related to having sex with a man who engages in that activity for a living is another obstacle on the road to romantic bliss.
The charm and youthful exuberance of Fabio is as apparent and appealing as is the uptight and grumpy nature of his unlikely soulmate. A memorable scene in which the former looks over to the clearly disapproving latter while engaged in a playful spontaneous threeway which Eduardo is welcome to make a fourgy is one of the more memorable scenes that illustrates the differences in their personalities and the desire of each to change the other.
The desire of Eduardo to have a couples AIDS test adds further conflict that the results compound. The predictably laissez-faire response of Fabio reflects the millennial attitude behind a recent increase in the infection rate.
Another memorable collision of worlds has a co-worker of Fabio connect with Eduardo to the detriment of the older man. A less dramatic aspect of this encounter is the intended reality check that the rent boy provides.
In addition to the well-performed live-stage sense of "Aya," the decently simulated (rather than highly explicit) sex scenes place the film firmly in the art (rather than the porn) end of the scale regarding gay films with erotic elements. In this case, said intertwinings are even more symbolic than the comparable interactions in releasing films.
All of the above are very true to the spirit of the releasing mission to introduce North American audiences to noteworthy gay-themed films about which they otherwise would be unaware.
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