If you’ve ever dealt with internalized Biphobia (and there’s a chance you have even if you’ve never labeled it as such) then you’ll enjoy Chemistry Eases the Pain.
Recently, on Twitter, some people (who said they’d never date a bisexual man) had no idea what it meant to be biphobic. Here’s the definition of biphobia according to the Googles. (Spoiler: It’s more complex than just a “fear”.)
bi·pho·bi·a /bīˈfōbēə/ noun: dislike of, aversion to, or prejudice against bisexual people.
What ^ that means is that if you refuse to date someone just because of who they’re attracted to, then you may be perpetuating biphobia. Please don’t be that person. Date who you want, but don’t base it on who THEY might want to date.
That’s my time on the soap box! Back to the film review. I was sad to miss the online premier. I think it would have been great to watch CETP with a group of people. One of my takeaways from watching CETP, was that the title is a double entendre! “Chemistry” points to the literal chemistry from the opening scene that eases Matt into a comfort zone (read: high) to express his feelings. There is also the figurative chemistry between Matt and Frankie that eases them into some sexy games in the bedroom and on a couch.
Prepare yourself before watching CETP because there’s a chance, if you’re like me, you’ll find the Matt character kind of annoying. I have a feeling that he was deliberately written, played as the annoying dude trying his hand(s) at coercion. I’ve certainly met my share of Matts out in the wild. In my 20s, I was a Matt. Part of the magic of CETP is that some characters are written in a cringeworthy way, but the message never gets lost.
Shine tells a story of exploration that gave me warm fuzzy memories. I’ve been the Matt in a room with a Frankie exploring their first penis. I’ve also been Frankie, ashamed to tell friends about a crush because of that person’s gender. I’ve experienced chemistry changing everything I thought I once knew about myself. CETP is fun, endearing, sexy in all of the subtle ways, and hot in all the other ways. CETP is also a low key valentine to the Bay Area. If you live, or have ever lived, in the Bay Area you can’t not recognize San Francisco and Oakland as the backdrop. (I love it when cities I love become characters in film.)
Shine makes much more than just films to get you aroused, they tell stories. Shine’s camera work keeps all the focus where it’s needed, down to the books in the background that add subtext to the plot. CETP tells a story with a few interesting turns in the plot. No spoilers, you should check it out for yourselves here. I enjoyed watching Frankie take on the role of teacher, laughed at the house full of Chads (pay attention to the end credits), and the coming of age (no pun intended) vibe for the ending. This is a good date movie, watch more porn. After you watch it, share your thoughts in the comments below.