Watercolors is a film about the power of an artist’s first love as a young teenager, and how he uses his art to channel his emotions and grief as an adult.
The film begins with the arrival of Danny (Tye Olson) arriving at the launch of his exhibition in New York. His paintings immediately remind him of Carter (Kyle Clare). We learn (through a series of flashbacks) that Danny and Carter went to the same high school. Carter was a popular athlete and Danny, an awkward nerdy artist. One night a family situation throws the pair together and their relationship changes.
The blossoming of love between the two is at first, a bit of a struggle but Danny awakens to his love of art (Carter becomes his muse and model) and accepts his being gay. Carter is a troubled teen with drug problems, has issues with his father, and hides his relationship with Danny away from his friends. His inability to deal with it all leads him to commit suicide. Lead by three female ‘teachers’, Mrs. Martin (Karen Black), Andy (Ellie Araiza) and Miriam (Casey Kramer) Danny finds himself again through his creativity.
Now, 15 years later, Danny is still unable to forget Carter, jeopardising his relationship with his present boyfriend Allan (Edward Finlay) who wants him to promise never to paint Carter again.
“This modest movie, with a side plot that looks unblinkingly at gay-bashing among high school students, deserves to attract crossover customers as all the crowd-pleasing elements moviegoers respond to: appealing hero, absorbing story, a solid group of supporting players and a big fat happy ending.”
— New York Times
“Touching relationship between a pair of mismatched, if ultimately star-crossed lovers; teenagers who by getting to know each other, get to know their homosexual self.”
— Gay Celluloid
Did You Know?
The lead character in Watercolors was first named Eric before being changed to Danny. Despite being advised against playing the role of Danny (considering the gay bashing nature of the film), Tye Olsen reveals that the character’s openness about his sexuality helped give him the confidence to go public with his own sexuality. Review our Gay Themed Films Here