Handsome New York couple Ira (Matt Dallas) and Josh (Taylor Frey) live a seemingly gilded life, dividing their time between NY and their beautiful home in the Hamptons. Ira is a hard-working, successful agent and Josh is a less successful actor. The two have been together for ten years and, although they have all the material trappings they could wish for, the emotional side of their relationship is strained and communication between them is weak. Ira is clearly the breadwinner and in charge of the relationship, and this causes insecurity in Josh, which isn’t helped by Josh’s mischievous best friend Shawn (Samuel Larsen).
Then one weekend, out of the blue, Ira’s teenage best friend, and former crush, Roger (Rick Cosnett) announces that he’s coming to stay with them. This unsettles Ira who hasn’t heard of Roger for the past twenty-four years, as well as Josh who has never even heard Roger’s name mentioned before.
Roger turns up and is extremely handsome. He’s accompanied by an equally good-looking girlfriend Lilly (Maggie Geha). Roger and Lilly are very forward, touchy-feely, overly familiar, and clearly up for a weekend of fun and naughtiness, whatever that may entail. This relaxes Ira and Josh, who are soon having fun with the couple, drinking shots and smoking weed. The weekend, however, takes on a more intense direction once the four begin to tuck into a big packet of molly (MDMA) that Roger and Lilly have brought with them. Once high, resistance to temptation is weak, secrets are spilled and desires are expressed. How will the weekend ride out for the sexy foursome?
Written, produced, and directed by Jay Arnold, Shoulder Dance examines the complex relationships between friends, lovers and partners, and the split between love and desire. So far, so good. However, I feel the film suffers from none of the characters being very inspiring or relatable. They’re a bit bland and measured (in a rich Hamptons way), so the viewer may find it hard to care about them. Once that happens, the outcome of the film isn’t so important. Another issue is that the expected emotions and sex are not fully explored. The plot is also rather shallow and slow-moving. It would have been better suited as a subplot to a larger story.
Queerguru’s Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah