Gay Essential Films To Watch, Vacationland

Written by Todd Verow and his long time writing partner Jim Dwyer, the film Vacationland picks up on many of Verow’s own personal experiences as a young adult attending art school and leaving behind his home and life in Bangor, Maine.  The film portrays Joe, an 18-year-old who is living with his mother and older sister in a small white trash housing project.  Joe and his sister Theresa have one major thing in common: both want to get out of Bangor as soon as possible.

Beyond the stigma of being from a lower class community, Joe also carries a dark secret.  Molested by three men at a young age, he has long internalized feelings of fear and shame.  Seeking an escape, he befriends a local artist and moves in with him, working as a model and living above the local opera house.

In school, Joe has a crush on his best friend, Andrew.  As a high school football player, Andrew seeks to maintain his machismo, yet still acknowledges and shares the same feelings.  Joe also catches the attention of his French teacher, making out with him and using the affair as blackmail in order to get better grades at school.  Andrew soon falls on hard times, yet he and Joe stick together and contemplate what to do with their lives.



“A superb film about a gay teenager grappling with his sexuality.”
   San Francisco Bay Times

“Contains numerous moments that are satisfying and pleasing on both emotional, and prurient, levels.”

Did You Know?

One of only a few coming of age dramas for Todd Verow, the director looked at his own past experiences with coming out as inspiration for Vacationland.  Todd Verow was born and raised in Bangor, Maine, and went on to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, the same school that main character Joe wishes to attend.  In 1995, Verow and creative partner James Dwyer founded Bangor Films, an apparent reference to the director’s home town. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

Read our interview with Todd Verow

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All pictures reproduced courtesy of Bangor Films

Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 4 hours ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll