★★★★ | Shared Rooms
The story of a set of three couples grappling with life, love, and children is told in the new gay comedy ‘Shared Rooms.’
Set in Los Angeles, these three couples are all somehow connected to each other. There’s married couple Laslo (Christopher Grant Pearson) and Cal (Alec Manley Wilson) who live in a very cosy home and make fun of their friends with children – always telling themselves that ‘they are not that couple’ who ‘always have to arrange play dates for their children.’ And then there are roommates Julian (Daniel Lipshutz) and Dylan (Robert Werner). Dylan travels 36 weeks out of the year for work, so Julian rents his room out to strangers on LGBTQBnB while he’s away. But Dylan comes home early from a business trip to find a stranger named Frank Turner (David Vaughn) in his bedroom, so he has to share Julian’s bed, a thought, and fantasy, Dylan has had for two years! And finally third couple Sid (Justin Xavier) and Gray (Alexander Neil Miller), who casually meet up on an app called Manfinder. They instantly connect, while Sid shares with Gray a deep dark secret about his past, and lucky for us, they spend all of their time together naked.
These men all happily share their lives, and their rooms, with other men, during Christmas, however, there is drama lurking in the background. Houseguest Frank Turner is in town to look for his long-lost kidnapped brother, and Cal’s gay nephew Blake (a very good and natural Eric Allen Smith) arrives after having been kicked out of his parent’s house.
Shared Rooms, by writer and director Rob Williams, is cleverly written and very cute and funny. It’s like watching a gay version of Modern Family – everyone is a bit dysfunctional yet sweet and charming in their own way. Everything wraps up a bit too easily at the end, culminating in a New Years Eve Party where everyone has found what they were looking for (if only life were that easy), but it’s a funny and cute journey to get there.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.