Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reverend's Reviews: Boys and Balls


Most gay men I know tend to avoid sports-themed movies like… well, like sports themselves. We may all be for athletes in their prime but athletics hold appeal for relatively few of us. That being said, Kickoff is a must-see. It is now available on DVDand digital download from Wolfe Video.

This comedy-drama is written and directed by out British filmmaker Rikki Beadle-Blair, who previously helmed such acclaimed GLBT-themed productions as Stonewall, Metrosexuality and Fit. Kickoff takes place entirely on a football (or soccer, to us Yanks) field. It is there that the all-gay Platoon meets an all-straight rival team, the Reapers, for a Sunday competition.


Things quickly devolve into, as one character states, “total non-stop drama-rama.” The issue of gay vs. straight soon becomes secondary, however, to conflicts amongst each team’s members. Among other things, Platoon team captain Archie (the yummy Ian Sharp) freaks out over the fuchsia shorts selected by his partner for the players to wear, and a black male couple discovers they’ve both been having sex on the down low with the same... woman. Meanwhile, the Reapers have to contend with two sparring brothers, one of them a drug addict, and an overly aggressive player who is hooked on steroids.

Very little football is actually played before Kickoff’s finale but that doesn’t stop most of the in-shape, multi-ethnic cast from spending much of the movie shirtless. The script is chock full of Beadle-Blair’s trademark great, snarky dialogue that plays on clichés and stereotypes. While it doesn’t overcome them all, Kickoff could still help advance dialogue between sports-playing members of the gay and straight communities. Sports has probably made stranger bedfellows in the past.

Reverend's Rating: B

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Blade California.

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