Funny, engaging … smartly written … rises head and shoulders above other comedy-dramas.
The home of latter-day hippies Hank (Donald Joseph) and Stormy (Gigi Guizado) is a nest that a young man named Thibodeaux (Mathew Lotto) can’t wait to leave. But what this young man thinks he wants collides with the hard reality of desire in the idiosyncratic, unrepentantly sexual comedy-drama A Lower Power — a gay coming-of-age story where the coming of age isn’t about being gay.
When neither the geeky, introverted sanity of his friend Steve (Rafe Morgan Kossak) nor the advice of torturously heterosexual stud buddy Mas (Adrian Anchondo) provide an easy answer, Thibodeaux sets off on his own to college, where he hangs with bubbly Emmy (Terri J. Freedman) and seeks a sexless social life. But Thibodeaux’s chastity strategies meet their match in Todd (J. William McMichael), a cocksure biker and Old English scholar who teaches Thibodeaux the power of passion.
Even as Todd unleashes Thibodeaux’s appetites and old friends come back into his life in surprising ways, Thibodeaux’s repressive reflexes connect sex to misfortune and humiliation, until his contorted logic drives away his friends and the mythic man of his dreams.
Propelled by a muscular original score by H.P. Mendoza (Fruit Fly and Colma: The Musical), A Lower Power touches on questions of faith and the nature of luck as it tracks Thibodeaux’s tunnel vision to a (literally) climactic revelation that his urges aren’t nearly as dangerous as denying them.
A Lower Power is the debut feature-length film directed by Robert O’Geen, from an original screenplay by Tim Bland. Dana Cory produced, with O’Geen and Bland as executive producers/producers and Matthew Bridges as associate producer. Shot in 1080i high-definition video by James J. Yi and edited by O’Geen, the film is a production of San Francisco-based Hidden Deadly.