As he prepared to make his first film, Craig Chester faced a dilemma.
With a lack of movies accurately portraying gay life, the New York actor and director wanted to explore issues such as same-sex relationships and marriage. At the same time he knew the subject material could make his debut film distressingly earnest.
I would go to these film festivals and there would always be gay couples who would come up to me and say, -˜When are they going to make a movie about a relationship?’ Chester tells Sydney Star Observer.
I remember being at an awards ceremony for independent film. Everything was so serious and the movies being rewarded felt kind of precious. I really missed the sense of irreverence and outlandishness of early John Waters movies or early Woody Allen movies.
So Chester opted for serious slapstick in his film Adam And Steve, billed as a gay romantic comedy in the spirit of Hollywood hit There’s Something About Mary.
The film -“ which Chester wrote, directed and stars in -“ follows New Yorkers Adam (Chester) and Steve (Malcolm Gets), who first meet in a trashy nightclub sometime in the 1980s.
An ensuing one-night stand fails spectacularly when Steve loses control of his bowels, one example of the film’s comic style.
That’s never happened to me although I know a girl who that happened to at her high school reunion, Chester says of the stomach-turning early scene.
She told me that story and I thought that it was so amazingly awful, and so I used it in the film.
When Adam and Steve meet again two decades later, they are keen to overcome their own bumbling personalities and outside interferences.
The obstacles for Adam and Steve to be together are their prerequisite neuroses, but also the outside world, which includes straight people who are throwing bottles at them, Chester says.
The director uses the bottle-throwing to explore serious themes such as homophobia.
Chester hopes Adam And Steve touches on all of the things that reflect my relationships and my friends’ real lives.
But the laughs are more important.
It’s kind of a middle finger to a kind of pretence, Chester says.
It was never intended to be anything but a silly, fun movie.
Adam and Steve is released on DVD on 4 September.