It’s a huge shame that LGBT films don’t tend to attract an audience outside of the LGBT community, but is it their own fault? LGBT cinema can be guilty of focussing so much on ‘gay issues’ any other plot is completely overshadowed. Notable exceptions of course include Brokeback Mountain and last year’s Weekend. But perhaps they’re an exception because they share a common feature – the gay aspects of the film don’t take over the human story. Romeos, billed as “not your typical boy meets boy love story” is thankfully one of the LGBT related films that puts the human interest in the spotlight.
Following the story of Lukas (Rick Okon) a pre-operative female to male transsexual on his social service year (must be German thing) in Cologne. Much to his dismay (and that of a few of the inhabitants) Lukas is placed in the female dorm thanks to a less than understanding course leader.
Despite his desire to be in the male dorm at least Lukas has the support of his childhood friend Ine in his oestrogen heavy digs. New to the city, Lukas is keen to explore what the nightlife has to offer so it isn’t long until we’re transported to a house party where the booze flows almost as much as the promiscuity.
And so the (atypical) love story begins. Fabio (Maximilian Befort) is sexy, confident and had Lukas from ‘guten Tag’ to Ine’s (and perhaps our surprise). Challenging the assumption that a female to male transsexual would be attracted to straight women, Romeos takes us on Lukas’ challenging and touching adventure.
Despite featuring a few too many playful-yet-flirting-chasing-through-the-street scenes and occasionally being a bit too teenage angsty (one scene reminded me so much of Kevin and Perry I laughed out loud) Romeos is a well paced and thoughtful film that whilst tackling some LGBT themes, has a much broader appeal.
Echoing our thoughts, our friends over at Big Gay Picture Show‘s overall verdict of Romeos was: An extremely well made, touching and involving film, which transcends its gay and transgender themes to tell a story that’s really about all of us.
Romeos is available on DVD from the 2nd July and lasts approximately 94 minutes
By Jamie McHale