Benny (Matthew Frias) and Christopher (Edmund Donovan), college freshmen, meet playing football and begin a relationship. They fall in love supported by their family and friends. As their love for each other grows, a past tragic event involving their mothers comes to light. This revelation tests their own love and Benny's close-knit family. Throughout this reflective love story, with the beauty of rural Ohio as its backdrop, Benny travels an emotional journey that examines both his own feelings and his family's ability to come to terms with the past. Emotionally resonant and beautifully crafted, 'Akron' is a progressive queer story, heralding a new age in gay cinema.
Misdirected curveball (warning, slight spoiler)
- Akron review by TB
This is a great romantic film about two gay students (Benny and Christopher) who fall in love. It’s a genre that’s flooded with films that have the same love story backbone but nothing else. However, some films do add something to give it depth and to make it stand out from the crowd. This film does that with a great curveball that adds drama and another level of emotion and strains that relationships can face in the real world. However that same curveball is what made me rate this film lower than I would’ve done if it had of been more realistic instead of being overplayed and exaggerated. I don’t want to give away too much but I felt that the reactions at times, especially from the mother and father of Benny were a little OTT over something that was effectively an accident. I’m not claiming to know how I’d feel in that situation but I think awkward and shocked would have been the right pitch and enough to add to the story without the harsh words and hatred at times towards Christopher and his mother.
The somewhat rushed ending goes some way to address this and deliver a more real feeling to it all but this could have been done throughout instead of right at the end.
An opportunity missed that with better direction could have delivered a very powerful film.