Written by Michael D. Akers and Sandon Berg
Directed by Michael D. Akers
Starring Leo Minaya and Jack Kesy
For a movie about how no obstacle can stand in the way of true love, MORGAN is awfully depressing. When we first meet the title character in Michael D. Akers’ latest gay-themed love story, he is getting out of bed to what seems like a pretty meaningless existence. He is recently handicapped and, after wheeling himself to the fridge for a beer, he plops himself on the couch and just starts piling them back and watching television. The man just got up and the movie just got started. I miss the days when gay meant happy.
Structurally, MORGAN is extremely straight forward. In fact, at first, it is almost unbearably so. Morgan, played by sweet-faced, Leo Minaya, used to be a basketball and cyclist trophy winner before his accident. His mother (Madalyn McKay) dotes on him but sees him as a burden; his best friend is a sassy, black girl (Darra Boyd), who incidentally has about as much sass as a door stop; and he can’t seem to get his, uh, equipment to work. Basically, everything is set up so that by the time Morgan meets Dean (Jack Kesy) in a park one night, the audience is ready to let love overcome all of Morgan’s misfortune. They have no other choice really.
My being a sucker for a pretty face and a naive champion of love conquering all, I fell for the journey these two boys took to find love, despite the corny dialogue and sometimes forced delivery. Some of the harder questions, like how they can be intimate with each other or how they both wish he could still walk, are touched on in some of the film’s more engaging moments. The trouble is they find love way too soon, which leaves Akers with way too much time to fill after the fact. Subsequently, MORGAN amounts to a reasonably effective, somewhat endearing but mostly missed opportunity to celebrate how any one can find love if they’re open to seeing it.
MORGAN screens as part of the Toronto Inside Out LGBT film festival on Sunday, May 20, at 2:00 PM. Visit the festival website for details and tickets.