Essential Opinion: Open

The 2016 indie comedy Open presents the interesting scenario of what happens when a couple who have been together for ten years decide to open up their relationship.

Bruce L. Hart and Peter Szeliga star as Kyle and David — who think they’ve become boring. But after seeing how well an open relationship has been working for their friends Richard and Marc (Leon Acord and Brian Nolan), they try to take their relationship in that direction. It’s an intriguing situation that could play itself out in a myriad of ways. In their case, David quickly starts seeing a former student named Trey (Jake Hunter) while Kyle creates an online profile and goes out on a few rather disastrous dates.

Then one of them breaks one of their previously-established rules.

Open

The film isn’t heavily plotted – which allows several story threads of the main plot to build upon one another like the best TV sitcoms. But there is a secondary plot involving Kyle’s younger sister Gabby (Rebekah Kochan) thinking she’s bisexual and being set up with Kyle and David’s friend Margaret (Shaun Landry).

The film does a great job of portending a couple of different scenarios without manipulating the viewer into thinking one will play itself out when we all ultimately know it won’t or can’t. This is most effective through the sweet and convincing dynamic created between David and Trey (however improbable for the cynics out there) that made their relationship wholly possible (however implausible for the cynics out there).

Open is chock full of indie favorites such as Rebekah Kochan (the Eating Out film series) as Kyle’s younger sister, Mike Dreyden (adult entertainment, Last Call web series) as a very open-minded photographer, Jason Stuart (Tangerine, Mentor web series) as one of Kyle’s dates and Drew Droege (Logo’s Cocktails and Classics, Where the Bears Are web series) as another one of Kyle’s dates. Adult film legend Ron Jeremy has a funny cameo as yet another one of Kyle’s dates while David Pevsner, Dante the Comic, Shaun Landry and wrestler Razor Rizzotti round out the cast.

The film has a fun tone to it – and all the actors involved are in on it. Droege in particular has a surreal moment as a seemingly normal date who ultimately reveals himself to have quite the personality quirk – and in hilarious fashion. Whether this was in the script or improvised by Droege, it was one of the funniest scenes in the film and Droege went all in on it.

In another funny scene, Kyle and David generate a list of rules for their new open relationship, but the finalized list seems to be so long that you have to wonder if either, particularly Kyle – who suggested it to David in the first place, were really as ready for it or even as interested in it as they let on. And in a bit of irony, though it was Kyle who suggested the open relationship, it was David who actually had the better go at it.

To the film’s credit, the decision that Kyle and David make at the end is presented as THEIR decision to make as a couple within the privacy of their own lives with no statement or judgement call made on the part of the filmmakers. But because an open relationship is ultimately a private thing, a private moment between Kyle and David may have better served the main story’s resolution than the public nature in which that decision was made.

Either way, the ultimately happy ending for both is more than earned.

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Terrence Moss

Terrence Moss

Screenwriter
Terrence Moss is a Los Angeles-based blogger and writer who works at a media buying agency to pay the bills. He also contributes to the internationally-distributed Kraven Magazine, co-writes a web series called "Child of the 70s" and performs every week at Musical Mondays in West Hollywood. Terrence also watches a lot of old TV shows, gay indie flicks and other web series -- so he's quite single.
Terrence Moss

@the79show

Pessimist. Moody (but mostly grumpy). Staring down the barrel of 40.
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