'4th Man Out'
(Parker Young, Evan Todd, Chord Overstreet, Jon Gabrus, et al / DVD / NR / 2017 / Filmrise)
Overview: The true strength of friendship is put to the test when a small town car mechanic comes out of the closet to his group of gullible, blue-collar best friends. This award-winning buddy comedy stars Parker Young (Surburgatory), Evan Todd (Sydney White), Chord Overstreet (Glee) and Jon Gabrus (Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Awful Nice).
DVD Verdict: '4th Man Out' has a lot going for it. Well-written dialog, with a real sense of humor. Good acting from an appealing and attractive cast. An unusual and effective location. It's definitely worth a look for anyone interested in the so-called 'sub genre' of gay-themed movies. And for these reasons, it's far superior to many of its predecessors.
Evan Todd as "Adam", the main character, does a fine job of conveying the anxiety of someone in his position. It's a situation many of us can identify with. And it's treated in way consistent with the time period (current) and location (upstate NY, i.e. not San Francisco, NYC or Boston). Adam and his friends are in their late 20s and all have (or think they have) pretty open-minded views about homosexuality, but when Adam announces he's gay it still creates some ripples in their little network. Because the characters are pretty well drawn -- Adam and best friend Chris (played by Parker Young) in particular-- it's hard to condemn any of them for not immediately and fully embracing their friend's news.
It takes them a while. Yes, this is not taking place 30 years ago, so we can think they should have no problems. But they do love Adam as a friend and eventually they all come around. The film balances the awkwardness and initial homophobia pretty well, with no really mean-spirited humor. Adam's parents are also well presented, with expected surprise (or lack of it) and acceptance through love.
The single big drawback in '4th Man Out' is a dating montage sequence for Adam. He signs on to a gay dating site, or phone app and is quickly barraged with interested parties (he's very good-looking and charming). The problem with the sequence is that it trades in too many stereotypes. The one likely candidate gets as far as a pretty hot make-out session with Adam, but it's ruined by a crass event that seems out of place and unnecessary. Too bad, but this does not spoil the entire film, please know and understand that. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.