Review: BEAR CITY (2010)
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By Jason Russo
Being a hairy Italian man who has always ran away from being openly BIG & HAIRY, I had a hard time sitting through BEAR CITY, a gay “Sex in the City-type” comedy about men who love & are attracted to BEARS. I’m just NOT used to seeing nude sex scenes involving 200-300lb overly hairy men making out on the big screen, a some-what break-thru for a film to date.
Having gone through the gay scene of the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s I was always self-conscious about having a belly & being hairy that I even found it uncomfortable just to take my shirt off in public or on a dancefloor which was always populated by hairless musclemen! I was & STILL am constantly working out & trimming my body hair to feel comfortable in the superficial society that we have always lived in where it’s better to be trim, muscular & smooth than to be a big hairy beast.
BUT… as uncomfortable as this movie was for me to watch, as I’m sure it will be for many others, it does teach a valuable & much-needed lesson that big, hairy men are lovable people too & there are also people out there who find them attractive! They love their warmness inside & out, like a comforting teddy bear to hug.
Bear City’s plot centers around Tyler, warmly played by Joe Conti, a young inexperienced man who is highly attracted to hairy men! It follows him through a tight-knit circle of friends with all sorts of, some-what cliche but realistic, sub-plots to move the film forward! He moves in with Fred & Brent, a couple who have been together for a while & now are looking to branch out into 3-way sexcapades to liven up their relationship! This leads to many funny moments especially when they invite a “Mr. REALLY BIG” into their shower! This moment had the audiences laughing hysterically.
Then there’s Michael a 300-lb man who is seriously contemplating liposuction surgery against the wishes of his sexy Latin cub, Carlos, who loves him just the way he is & doesn’t want him to go through the difficult procedure! This situation creates the much-needed drama of the film & Gregory Gunter, as Michael, had me in tears with his emotional performance. Rounding out the group is the handsome but VERY promiscuous, Roger, played nicely by Gerald McCullouch, who becomes the “impossible” object of Tyler’s affection! Going through one hunk after the other, as well many group-sex sessions, Roger ends up hurting poor young Tyler & himself with his selfish behavior.It’s during this difficult time that Tyler confides in his young hairless buddy Simon, played affectionately likable by Alex Di Dio, who provides Tyler & the audience with many funny moments of comic relief! He absolutely steals the movie & makes it the comedy movie that you came to see.
So, as pressures mount & Bear Party Weekend approaches, these men find love, friendship & contentment as they, & we the audience, learn a lesson that LIFE can get a little HAIRY! We should just grin & BEAR it!!
More pics from the Premiere [here]