by Steve Desroches
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the boys from BearCity and a baby carriage. Director Douglas Langway’s BearCity trilogy is complete with the release of the final installment, which follows a bunch of bear friends to the LGBT resort the Woods Campground in rural Pennsylvania. And while the first two, set in New York City and then Provincetown during Bear Week, respectively explored relationships and marriage equality and how the LGBT community adjusts to the newly won right, part three dives deep into family and what that concept means when a gay couple, and their friends, react to a new baby on the way.
Part of the charm of the BearCity trilogy is seeing what has become one of the most widely known gay subcultures reflected in a film made by members of the bear community. Peppered in between a little drama, some sweet sentimentality, a few funny absurd moment as well as self-awareness that jibs and jabs showing a keen sense of humor, BearCity 3 offers a narrative and characters that reflect a culture, albeit a relatively new one, and all its glorious idiosyncrasies. A central facet of bear culture is the acceptance of people as they are, and that is captured so very well here, just as with the previous two releases.
What is also both encouraging and refreshing is to see a film that celebrates all aspects of not just sexuality, but sex itself, acknowledging that while each individual is free to make his/her own personal choices when it comes to sex, it can be fun, playful, and free. The film doesn’t shy away from the responsibilities that come with sexual experiences and doesn’t at all separate sex from emotions. Quite the contrary; it features all the exuberance of a healthy sex life of one’s own choosing going hand in hand with respect for oneself and one’s partner, or partners, as the case may be. No puritanical hand-wringing here. Sex is expressed in a way that shows how the modern gay rights movement went hand in hand with the sexual revolution. What BearCity 3 also shows is that while such things as marriage and children can find their place within gay culture without having to abandon said culture, there’s room for it all.
BearCity 3 is stylish and well done, and with very good acting, which is a delight because let’s be honest, sometimes with lower budget independent films the performances can be less than stellar. Not so in BearCity 3 as many of the cast members from the previous two return to continue the storyline, including Gerald McCullouch (Roger), Joe Conti (Tyler), Stephen Guarino (Brent), Brian Keane (Fred), and Gregory Gunter (Michael), as well as Kathy Najimi (Rose). The film arrives just in time for Bear Week and is a perfect complement to a week celebrating this vibrant and growing community.
BearCity 3 screens at Waters Edge Cinema, 237 Commercial St. on the second floor of Whaler’s Wharf daily from Friday, July 8 through Thursday, July 14 at 4:30, 7, and 9:30 p.m. with rainy day matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the box office and online at watersedgecinema.org. For more information call 508.413.9369.