The most interesting thing about writer-director Jon Garcia’s The Falls: Testament ofLove is how its very existence comes thanks to the subterranean market economy where LGBT film festivals provide a bazaar-like infrastructure for largely middling fare (and filmmakers) to garner audiences and distributors for future DVD releases. Theatrical runs are a bonus, but kind of irrelevant. A sequel to the festival contender The Falls, Testament follows the ill-fated love affair of young Mormons Chris (Benjamin Farmer) and RJ (Nick Ferrucci) who, at the end of the first film, are called home from missionary duties after being found in bed together. Testament opens with a “flashback” of what happened next: The two took a romantic road trip and planned a happily-ever-after that never happened. Instead, Chris vanished after the trip, underwent conversion therapy, got married, and fathered a child, all without contacting RJ, who eventually found a new love while carrying a torch for Chris. After the two accidentally meet at a friend’s funeral, RJ follows Chris back to his home for answers and closure. Too long and too meandering, the film (whose low budget is apparent in everything from the washed-out visuals to the set design) scores points for respecting the role that religion has in the lives of many LGBT folk, never mocking them or the notion of religious faith. But its soap-opera plot is old hat, and the largely amateurish acting of the ensemble makes it hard to connect with many of the characters.
Jon GarciaBenjamin Farmer, Nick Ferrucci, Hannah Barefoot, Thomas StroppelJon GarciaBreaking Glass Pictures