Starring – Patricia Velasquez, Alexander Dreymon, Luke Judy, Lydia Hearst, Christos Vasilopoulos, Rex Lee, Jerod Meagher, Hunter Lee Hughes, Blake Sheldon, Justin Schwan, Gopal Divan, James Fracaro, Vincent Montuel, Daniel Berilla
Directed by Hunter Lee Hughes
Guys Reading Poems is exactly what the title says; it’s a movie with a bunch of guys reading poetry. Although, I think the title of the movie should really be – Hot, Muscular Guys Reading Poems, but that’s just my opinion, because the movie is full of hot, hairless, muscular men, so when Hunter Lee Hughes, the director and co-writer of the film, told me recently that the film had, “at its core a gay male sensibility” he wasn’t kidding, because if I was a gay man, my sensibilities would be to lust after these dreamy men.
Anyway, enough about my pseudo lustings of hot, hairless, muscular men, because I’m a lesbian and these lustings can only go so far with me (think, pre-teen girl, don’t know nothing about penises or sex existing yet, kind of lustings), Guys Reading Poems is actually a quite serious and heartbreaking film about a little boy who is severely neglected by his mother because she is too busy with her paintings to notice her son, but the abuse comes to its height when she decides to lock him in a box and turn him into one of her art projects. And I thought my mother was nuts?! Well, at least she never did that to me. The boy’s story is told through poetry, which is read by the previously mentioned hot, muscular men. Poems from William Blake to Walt Whitman (he was gay, so I imagine he would have loved seeing this movie with hot, muscular men reading his words) to Emily Dickinson (she’s my favorite poet and was probably a lesbian or at the very least bisexual) to W.B. Yeats are featured in the film.
Guys Reading Poems is quite a unique movie because of its use of poems as the film’s main way of expressing the story that we are watching. It basically sounds a lot like a Shakespeare play, probably because his plays were basically poetry too. I loved this idea of poems as pretty much the only dialogue in a film and thought it was executed brilliantly (Hunter, you’re one hell of a great director), so much so that I want to seriously sit down with this movie a few times, all the poems at my disposal, so I can watch what is happening on the screen and hit pause 50 million times as I then read the poetry (because I’m weird that way, I have to actually see poetry to really understand it) and try to figure out the meaning of it all. Hey Hunter, can we get a companion book published for the film with all the poems and where they are in the movie, along with some shots of the film in that beautiful black and white cinematography used for the movie? Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?
The only problem with this film is it has a limited selected audience, because nowadays, no one is patient enough or has enough of an attention span (or as Carrie Fisher once said of today’s society, “Instant gratification takes too long”) to dive into a bunch of poems, trying to figure out exactly what a movie is really all about. Do people even read poetry these days? I have no clue. I certainly never hear anyone talk about poetry.
But what’s gay about Guys Reading Poems? Did I not mention the hot, muscular, hairless guys reading said poems? And to be honest, I kind of assumed/suspected that a lot of the men reading these poems were gay, or at least had an essence of gayness about them, because I kept waiting for a gay affair to start happening with one of these men, and gayness does kind of occur with a few of them since they read several poems about loving another man. And the film stars Patricia Velasquez, who is a lesbian in real life and so proves that lesbians can play straight women and do a fantastic job at it to boot! See, you really now can be out of the closet and star in an awesome film. How times have changed. Thank goodness!
So, Guys Reading Poems, it’s a great film, but like I said, it’s not for everyone, but that’s okay, because we need more movies these days that aren’t just made for the world at large, because trying to please everyone in the entire world can lead to boring, mundane films. Guys Reading Poems is a reminder of how brilliant, unique and awe-inspiring movies can be when they don’t look like every other movie out there.
Guys Reading Poems will be released on February 20, 2018. You can pre-order it now on iTunes. For more information on the film and to read more on the poets used in the film, go to the film’s website. I’m still reading through the website myself because I was serious when I said I wanted to figure this movie out. I love when movies make me think! Yes, I know, I’m weird that way.
P.S.: Since lots of poetry was read in the film, including a poem by Emily Dickinson, I wanted to include my favorite poem of all time (although Dorothy Parker’s Resumé comes in a pretty close second), which is by Emily Dickinson, of course. Emily helped me survive high school (during the 1980s) when I discovered her in English class one day and never looked back, so thank you Emily for that. I was a lonely, sad, repressed, teenage lesbian when I discovered this poem she wrote and I can’t say enough how much this poem saved my life, because teenagers always want to be a somebody and at that point in my life with an abusive mother neglecting me and mentally and emotionally torturing me, reminding me every day that I was a nobody, well, Emily said she was a nobody too, and so for the first time in my life, I finally wasn’t alone…
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!