“The gayest straight movie ever made” is opening in New York this week, Los Angeles next week– and, if they have it their way, soon at a theatre near you.
“Eternity: The Movie” is a campy 1980s spoof about a musical duo who bond over broads and poor fashion and has become a darling at film festivals – gay and straight.
“We never really set out to make a gay movie,” says co-writer/director Ian Thorpe, “it just got of evolved into that.” Quite frankly, Thorpe admits, fans are the ones who have dubbed it the “gayest straight” movie because technically it’s not really gay. The musical duo never really come out of the closet. The duo, very much like a Hall & Oates, is likely queer & questioning but they are so dense, they don’t even know it.
“Ironically,” Thorpe says, “when we played our first film festival Hall & Oates was performing there but we never were able to get in touch with them to get them to come to our movie.”
The possible gay aspect is secondary to the story of a pair of struggling musicians. “We love the way our movie has resonated with a gay audience even though it doesn’t cover really any gay issues,” says Thorpe.
Thorpe and his childhood friend from Modesto Eric Staley worked on an original script from Joey Abi-Loutfi. “Joey gave us a few scripts and we liked this one the most,” he says. “But we had to hone it to be workable with our budget.”
While “low budget” screams the 1980s, Thorpe says they were able to get a very impressive cast from 1980s actors and it is definitely due to who you know.
Oscar nominee Eric Roberts got attached to the project because one of their friends in the film actually worked with Roberts on a short film. Martin Kove, the hunky co-star of TV’s “Cagney & Lacey,” also was somewhat easy to get as his son Jesse is friends with Thorpe and Staley. “We had to agree to let Jesse be in the movie too,” Thorpe laughs, but promises he knows he was being used.
Actor Jon Gries also brings the movie “street cred” since he’s guest starred in about every 1980s TV show and has gone on to cult fame thanks to “Napoleon Dynamite.” Thorpe says that the trick with hiring Gries was what part to give him, before settling on playing Kove’s son even though the age difference is only 11 years. “We relied on Gries acting ability to be able to make that believable,” Thorpe laughs.
The film is expected to play throughout the country and they are just finalizing some dates. “San Francisco is on our list for sure, but we haven’t worked out a deal with a theatre yet,” Thorpe says.
While it only played at a handful of film festivals and a few more to come, it has been a big success whether it was a gay or straight film festival. “We sold out all of our screenings at our first festival (San Jose’s Cinequest) and had to add some additional showtimes,” he says. “We also received a lot of great feedback from LA’s Outfest.”
After opening in New York Oct. 17 and Los Angeles and Toronto Oct. 24, “Eternity: The Movie” is schedule to open later in the month and next month in San Diego, Portland, New Orleans and throughout Canada.
With festivals and screenings being added all of the time, Thorpe says they are keeping their website up-to-date – www.theeternitymovie.com.