“Since the Last Time We Met” (“Desde la última vez que nos vimos”)
Screened at the 41st Annual Reeling Chicago International LGBTQ+ Film Festival (2/5); Letterboxd (1.5/5), Imdb.com (3/10), TMDB.com (1.5/5)
If you’re looking for a film about how not to conduct yourself in a gay male relationship, this is it. Writer-director Matías De Leis Correa’s second feature outing is a talky, jumbled mess about the dysfunctional reunion of two long-separated partners (Patricio Arellano, Esteban Recagno) who constantly paw at one another but can’t make up their minds about what they want for the future. In a story that pretentiously deals with the supposed power of love and unrestrained raw emotion, the film ends up being little more than an exercise in whiny, circular, often-contradictory discussions about relationships and responsibility as a precursor to soft-core gay male porn. The picture tries hard to pass itself off as a work of poetic, heartfelt romance but is in actuality little more than slickly produced justification for bad behavior. What’s more, the story grows ever more tedious as it unfolds, straining to evoke sympathy from audience members for the selfish expectations and doormat subservience of its two remarkably unlikable protagonists, plot devices that regularly and increasingly prompt sighs and reactions of “Oh, come on already!” While this release admittedly features some fine camera work of the Argentinean landscape, that’s about all it has going for it. This one is easily skipped.