Synopsis: Ambition and societal pressure propel an aspiring chef to leave his soulmate in Mexico and make the treacherous journey to New York, where life will never be the same.
Stars: Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez, Ángeles Cruz, Arcelia Ramírez, Michelle González
Director: Heidi Ewing
Running Length: 111 minutes
TMMM Score: (8/10)
Review: I should be used to it by now, but I’m always a little surprised when I see a romance featuring a LGBTQ+ relationship at its center. I mean, it’s definitely more representative of the world we live in and offers many the opportunity to see depictions of normal, healthy relationships on screens big and small – and that’s awesome. For so long though, these movies, these stories were often relegated to low budget studios that didn’t have the funds (or frankly, the talent) or access to proven creative energy to give them their proper due. So it wound up feeling to many that while the effort was appreciated, it also was lacking.
It’s finally starting to feel like we’re moving out of the doldrums of lame, half-hearted attempts at LGBTQ+ romance films and memorable entries like I Carry You With Me are examples to refer back to when showing the forward progression of representation in film. A unique and surprisingly unpredictable film that starts off going in one direction before unveiling its ultimate truth in finality, director Heidi Ewing’s film has a lot of hot button issues to cover and connect with but manages to do it all with a light touch.
Based on a true story (have that in the back of your mind…it will come in handy while you watch), the film follows the sweet relationship that develops between Iván (Armando Espitia) and Gerardo (Christian Vázquez) in Mexico. Iván has a son from a previous relationship he wants to keep contact with but fears what his ex and family will do once they find out about Gerardo. Gerardo just wants to keep Iván a part of his life. A chance at a new opportunity in New York means a decision that offers dangerous consequences for the two men and others they are close to.
How the film starts to shift is small and almost imperceptible. At first, you aren’t quite sure what’s happening or how a seemingly disparate narrative is relating to our main storyline but then Ewing and her co-screenwriter Alan Page Arriaga pull a tiny rug out from under you…only to reveal an even larger one underneath they tug away just a few scenes later. I’ve never seen a movie quite like I Carry You With Me and to reveal what its secret is would be a severe betrayal of the trust the filmmakers and the real people involved have put in audiences (and critics!) that are lucky enough to see it.