“Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots” Is a Dramedy About Modern Queer Dating – Movie Review
From Breaking Glass Pictures, fans of queer content can watch the award-winning Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots on DVD and VOD come September 10, 2019. This dramedy is going to make you think and quite possibly urge you to reevaluate your dating life to (hopefully) make a change for the better.
I was provided a free screener of Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots for review. The opinions are my own.
The film premiered at qFLIX Philadelphia, where it was able to win the Audience Award. It also got recognition in the Best Picture and Best LGBT Film categories at the IFS Film Festival. I can see why Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots was able to win such accolades. It’s a well-constructed story that is able to accomplish a whole lot, considering everything occurs in a single night. I think people interested in narratives that make you think about certain life choices will enjoy watching this offering. It focuses on the realities of modern dating in the queer community.
One of the things I liked about Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots is the cast. For some reason, they felt real. I liked how they weren’t perfect and were able to showcase different types of queer people out there. Some members of the LGBTQ+ community are feminine, some are more masculine, while some like to be both. In my opinion, it’s always a good thing to create a range of characters so that the narrative doesn’t come across as painting a community with a single stroke.
The main story is about Leo. He’s played by Brazilian-born Thales Correa. Correa also directed and co-wrote this film.
Leo arrives in San Francisco to see if he can develop his relationship with a guy (named Totah) with whom he occasionally hooks up through Grindr. Accompanying Leo is his best friend Donnie (who is very effeminate) and Donnie’s friend named Hunter (who isn’t completely straight).
Donnie is played by Izzy Palazzini (co-writer). Hunter is played by the charming Oscar Mansky.
What the cast goes through ends up making them question certain life choices and how they handle relationships.
I would have liked to see more of Hunter, though. I think there was still a bit more left to explore about him and his relationship with his girlfriend.
Lucas Pagac as Ethan is another standout. His role gave Leo (and us) a visual representation of Leo’s relationship with Totah in a manner that’s more immersive than having a conversation by reading texts.
Correa had some words to share about his film as well as Breaking Glass Pictures.
This is an audacious and daring story about an intimate underground gay culture. I wanted to make an original film that rings true to the community I’ part of, even if that comes with great challenges to being accepted, something that most of LGBT people faces at one point. But we found home at Breaking Glass, they made us welcomed, and gave us great support. They are brave distribution company that is not afraid to stand with underrepresented artists and connect our stories to passionate audiences. As a gay immigrant, it was essential for me to keep an authentic voice, and I’m very thrilled that Breaking Glass was bold enough to honor that and took the challenge of distributing the film.
The less than 80 minutes running time helps keep pacing issues at bay. There’s a sense of urgency during the beginning of the film as Leo tries to look for Totah. Things slow down a bit after a few reveals and character realizations.
Online dating can get quite complicated for some people, especially when it’s supposed to emphasize hookup culture (which Grindr is a part of). I enjoyed seeing Leo trying to navigate it all. There are definitely a couple of scenes which I know many will relate to (whether it’s by seeing themselves in similar scenarios or someone they know).
While Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots does talk about modern queer dating, don’t think it gets too in your face about it. The narrative and how the characters react to situations makes sense.
I enjoyed watching Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Leo again in a sequel. Here’s to hoping he found what he’s looking for. I’ll even take some kind of a streaming series at this point.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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