In From The Side is a rare genre of queer movies. It’s a love story set in a gay rugby club. Brit filmmaker Matt Carter’s story is about winning and losing …… on the rugby field and in the bedroom, and it is an enchanting compelling tale that will have you transfixed until the ‘final score”
It all kicks off with one of those love (lust?) looks across a crowded locker room after the B Team has just lost yet another match. Mark (an extremely talented Alexander Lincoln) finds himself falling for the unattainable as Warren (the handsome Alexander King) plays in the A team alongside his boyfriend John,
Mark is not exactly a free agent himself but his older live-in boyfriend travels extensively and is rarely home, so they have a sort of open relationship. Unlike Warren who insists on carrying on the ‘down low’ in real fear of being found out about this affair.
Carter never moralizes about any of the men’s choices: his film is about adultery, monogamy and open relationships between two gay men who are very comfortable in their own skins. Kudos to him and his fellow writer Adam Silver for the very pleasant change for avoiding so many potential cliches in queer films: there’s not even a hint of homophobia or toxic masculinity.
There’s really no surprise to discover that Carter is actually both a rugby player and a coach as all the many scenes of them playing look so very authentic. Plus I guess as a gay man he was able to do the same with all the lovemaking scenes too.
What did surprise us was that not only is this Carter’s debut feature film but as well as directing and co-writing, he also edited, produced, composed the soundtrack, and was also the cinematographer.
As a gay man, I managed to avoid team sports at school so seeing the passion that these men invest in such a potentially dangerous game is beyond me, but I could relate to the close-knit camaraderie both on and off the field.
In From The Side is an almost perfect film but for the fact that with a running time of 2 hrs 14 mins it is way too long, but don’t let that put you off seeing this real treat
Review : Roger Walker-Dack
Editor in Chief : Queerguru Member of G.A.L.E.C.A. (Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and NLGJA The Association of LGBT Journalists. and The Online Film Critics Society. Ex Contributung Editor The Gay Uk & Contributor Edge Media Former CEO and Menswear Designer of Roger Dack Ltd in the UK one of the hardest-working journalists in the business' Michael Goff of Towleroad