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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reeling Review #5: See The 10 Year Plan at Chicago's LGBT Film Festival

Director/writer JC Calciano is the Nora Ephron of gay romantic comedies - and I mean that as a compliment.

Hopefully most of my readers know that Ms. Ephron directed and/or wrote the screenplay of such romantic comedies as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. They were all light and frothy cinematic concoctions about straight couples looking for love and always finding it before the closing credits. Mr. Calciano has taken this winning concept and given it a gay twist in three films so far - Is It Just Me? (2010), eCupid (2011) and now The 10 Year Plan. And instead of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, he features two hot - and frequently shirtless - hunks to fall in love.

The attractive leading men of The 10 Year Plan are Jack Turner and Michael Adam Hamilton, who play hopeful romantic Myles and his best friend, stud magnet Brody (he likes only one type of guy - "facing down"). After Myles gets dumped once again, he and Brody make a pact to become a couple in 10 years if neither of them has found love. We then jump ahead 9 years, 10 months and 29 days to discover that nothing has changed, and Brody sets out to find Myles the perfect guy since he has no desire to be his back-up plan - or does he? Now this situation is quite similar to another classic romantic comedy - 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding, in which college friends Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney agree to marry each other when they turn 28. Calciano does a fine job of taking this plot and making it his own with amusing results, and he is greatly helped by the handsome and talented Turner and Hamilton, who have great onscreen chemistry. I also liked Teri Reeves, whose performance as Myles' friend and co-worker Diane reminded me of Sex and the City's Samantha.

I don't mind familiarity in my romantic comedies - gay or straight - as long as I enjoy rooting for the main couple. And in The 10 Year Plan, I had a good time watching Myles and Brody play their game of love. Do they end up "happily ever after" like Meg and Tom or "just friends" like Julia and Dermot? Well, let's just say that Ms. Ephron would have approved.

Show time: 9:30 pm, Saturday, September 20, at the Landmark's Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark). There will be a post-screening Q&A with JC Calciano and Michael Adam Hamilton.
Running time: 90 minutes

For a complete schedule of films at Reeling32: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival (which runs September 18 - 25), go to You can purchase tickets online (click here) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark) Monday - Friday (and Saturday, September 13) 10:30 am - 6 pm. You can also get the latest festival news by following Reeling on Twitter and Facebook. And click here to read all my Reeling reviews.

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