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Wayback Wednesday: 4th Man Out (2015)

I would not be surprised if you told me not a single gay person was part of this movie’s crew.

4th Man Out (2015) has been on my list of movies to see for a while now but I’m going to be honest with you guys…I don’t remember how I even found out about this movie in the first place. Yes, I obviously watched the trailer at some point which is how I determine whether or not to add a movie to the aforementioned list, but how did I find out about it in the first place? Most likely it was when I was browsing through one of the many “LGBT+ Movies You Need to See!” lists that inevitably gets published at the start of every June. Seriously, Google it. I’m sure there are at least five publications with said lists. 4th Man Out was certainly different than other queer movies I’ve seen, a fact that at times helped the movie, but in the end made me actually despise it. 

Credit: / Gravitas Ventures

4th Man Out follows Adam, a young mechanic from a small town who has just come out as gay to his three blue-collar best friends, all of whom happen to be heterosexual. Though initially shocked, Adam’s friends quickly realize their friend is no different than he ever was and set out to help him find a boyfriend.

Oh my God, the beginning of this movie is so masculine and bro-y. I was instantly taken back to my days doing gym in high school, the most I have ever been subjected to an abundance of the most annoying and terrible parts of stereotypical masculinity. Surprisingly, high school gym was not a particular highlight in my life. Adam’s straight friends start out a little problematic but thankfully they learn from their mistakes and grow into better people, making their characters, as bro-y as they are, more bearable. What I did like about this movie is that the straight characters exhibit the same level of incredulousness as those in G.B.F. (2013) or But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), just minus the malice or ill-intentions. By the way, check out my reviews for those movies, here and here. Like the best queer comedies, 4th Man Out holds up a mirror to ignorant straight people and shows them how dumb they look and sound. The movie’s tongue is always firmly planted in its cheek. See? Sometimes straight people are just naive, well-meaning idiots. Not all the time, remember, but occasionally. 

Script-wise, 4th Man Out does at times feel like a direct-to-video movie from the early 2000s that the screenwriter just punched up for a 2010s audience. Thankfully, the movie isn’t gross or cringeworthy and is instead pretty earnest. The cinematography and visuals give off the most independent of indie vibes and the editing is a nightmare, but at least the movie is short and sweet. Without a doubt my favourite part was the inclusion of one of my all-time favourite movie tropes, a BAD DATES MONTAGE! I love it!! OOF, and let me tell you, this one was a doozy because I firmly believe that I have been on a date with all these archetypal men that Adam speed dates through. Wow, close to home. I may not have loved this movie, but what it was most successful at was reminding me how fun the pursuit of love and relationships can be. It’s Pride season! I’m just looking to drink, dance, and date. just like Adam. That’s what I’m here for. 

Credit: / Gravitas Ventures

Evan Todd is simply adorable as Adam. Oh my gosh, he’s just the cutest little lamb and I’m obsessed with his fluffy hair. That alone is worth swiping right for. I didn’t buy for a second when the movie had the audacity to proclaim that he had just turned 24, but hey, that’s Hollywood casting for you. Todd plays the role with such heartfelt sweetness and puppy dog lovableness that it’s impossible not to root for him and his quest for love. Especially when you see his undeniable chemistry with Parker Young, who plays Chris, Adam’s best friend with whom he might be in love. I was really hoping Adam and Chris would get together! Todd and Young have such a fun, playful back and forth that I wished that the movie gave them more scenes together.

I was fairly on board with 4th Man Out until the very end where it tripped at the finish line and then burned down the race track. So much nonsense gets shat out the movie’s ass during the last 10 minutes that almost completely destroys the good will it managed to earn. Nothing is given true, worthy resolution and is instead just inexplicably forgotten thanks to a multitude of sudden distractions. So, we’re just going to ignore the fact Chris was into Adam as well? “It felt like kissing my brother…” WHAT A CHEAP COPOUT! JUST BECAUSE THE MOVIE DIDN’T WANT TO ADMIT THAT IN A GROUP OF FRIENDS TWO OF THEM COULD POSSIBLY BE GAY. Also, the homophobic Christian lady only put aside her hate because it was the 4th go July? AKA the straightest holiday ever? Madness. 

4th Man Out feels a little like the movie version of a corporation making their logo rainbow themed during Pride. It has a very “Hi Gay!” energy. A little hollow, you know? It’s not fantastic, but it tried so hard and I think it only really messed up at the very end. Unfortunately for 4th Man Out however, the ending was what they needed to stick the most. Have you ever watched a movie like that? One that was pretty decent but they bungle the ending so badly you never want to watch it again? For me, that honour goes to 4th Man Out.

Have you seen 4th Man Out?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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