★★ | The Third One

Argentinian director’s Rodrigo Guerrero’s second feature is a very slight and charming tale about a one night stand that may change a young man’s outlook on life and love.

We first see 22-year-old near-naked Fede at his laptop on a chatline talking to Franco. The conversation soon gets very intimate and graphic and in case we don’t get where this is leading too, Guerrero has inserted some very short clips of gay porn films. Franco is in his early 40s and partnered and when all three men agree they like the look of how this hook-up is progressing they invite the young man over for dinner and more.

There is no ambiguity to the invitation and over the course of the meal, the three men chat at length about their backgrounds, their families and their lives so far. It is all very innocent and so completely friendly in such a way that it actually seems like the couple are looking to adopt the younger man rather take him to their bed and sexually ravish him. But this is what happens once desert has been served but as the action is photographed mainly from the waist up it is sweeter and somewhat wholesome than salacious.

There is a lot of grunting and groaning and smiling and then some penetration.

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Next morning with still no genitalia on view the men leave for work and the boy leaves for college after they all say their fond farewells and promise to repeat the night very soon. The closing credits roll as we see young grinning Fede day-dreaming in Class his mind still on the events on last night as if he had just lost his virginity. (Not true).

Sweet film, very good acting, but it really only had the makings of a short, and certainly not a full-length feature to promote this overly optimistic idea that sometimes (!) online hook-ups can be like a fairy tale after all.

Released by TLA on 8th December