In Andrew Nackman‘s feature directorial debut, Fourth Man Out, we meet Adam (Evan Todd), a mechanic who decides to come out to his three best friends on 24th birthday. His “bros” (Parker Young, Jon Gabrus and Glee’s Chord Overstreet), however, have some difficulties in embracing Adam’s sexuality at first.
Being a first feature film, one is willing to ‘let go’ of certain things. In the case of Fourth Man Out, there are several things that do not work to its advantage. Although it is evident the narrative is trying to create a sense of uncomfortable silences and misunderstandings mixed with straight-men‘s humour, the overall effect is lacking.
The writing does not give the film enough to call it a comedy. The manner in which Adam’s coming out story unfolds is awkward and makes one cringe several times. Even the way his best bros are portrayed take away from what could be a really good story. There is ‘hyper-sexual’ Nick (Chord Overstreet), ‘average guy’ Ortu (Jon Gabrus), and ‘always searching for romance’ Chris (Parker Young). Rather stereotypical straight men characters, who come across as one-dimensional. One cannot help but feel sympathetic towards Adam’s character, as he is quite misunderstood. Nick thinking Adam has a crush on him just makes the film less interesting to watch.
There are a few moments in the film that are genuinely funny, and others that are moving. These are unfortunatly not enough to salvage the fim. The cast does their best in trying to make this a viable story. Had they a better script, they would be more believable. In a time when we have some very creative, highly stylized, and well-written LGBTQ films, Fourth Man Out leaves one wanting more. As I often say, however, you need to see films for yourself to make your own objective opinions.
Fourth Man Out screens at Inside Out on Tuesday, May 26 at 9:45pm, at TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1. For more festival films and events information, visit insideout.ca.