Whether it was love at first sight or love that had to grow, you immediately know when you’ve found the right person for you. That special someone who you just want to wake up every morning next to, who knows you inside and out and who’s there for you when you need him or her and vice versa. It might be ten months after you’ve both met, two years or ten years but hopefully, there will be a time where you are ready to pop that question. For straight couples, it might already be a nerve-wracking but loving experience to ask it but with gay couples, it might be even more nerve-wracking, sadly due to social stigmas. With ‘Engaged‘, Dave Scala wants to push those stigmas aside and show that love, engagement, and weddings should just be about two people loving each other.
Buying a gorgeous engagement ring: Check! Picking a wonderful restaurant: Check! Having a great night out: Check! It seems that everything is going perfectly for Darren (Daniel K. Isaac) who’s about to propose to his partner Elliot (Ryan Jamaal Swain). While trying to find the perfect words, Darren’s moment is constantly ruined by multiple proposals in the restaurant. Despite Elliot describing the proposals ‘sweet and romantic’, Darren gets cold feet and decides he would pop the question later at a better time. However, that moment might be a long time away. Will he finally get over his nerves and ask him and will his doubts about his sexuality be too much?
The movie is very beautiful and captivating. One of the reasons why it is, is because of the wonderful chemistry between the two leading men. Isaac (Billions, Mercy Mistress) really brings the excitement, happiness but also the nervousness and doubts that his character experiences to the big screen. In front of him, we see Swain (Pose) as the loving, caring but also more confident and open Elliot. Swain’s performance is also a touching, delightful and emotional one. Alongside with the spontaneous and honest acting performances, the way the film was made also contributes to the film overall. The bright, colorful and delightful cinematography makes sure that the film has a vibrant and uplifting vibe.
This year, June has been chosen as LGBT Pride Month and I am glad that brilliant LBGT films like Engaged and many others are being put in the spotlight this month. Everyone should be equal, should be treated with the same respect, should be able to be what he or she wants to be and should definitely not have to explain why. These social issues are also something that’s addressed in this film. It’s clear that Darren is struggling with his sexuality, not because he’s unsure about whether he’s gay or not but due to the prejudice that are still present today.
If you want to see this lovely and charming film that includes awesome acting performances and that has an important social relevance, then you’re in luck. Engaged will screen at Palm Springs International ShortFest on June 21 and at Frameline: San Francisco LGBTQ+ Film Festival on June 22 and June 30. You know where to be on those dates!
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter – Just Celebrity Magazine