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Big Eden 2001 PG-13 CC

(328) IMDb 7.4/10
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A successful but lonely New York artist returns to Big Eden, the town of his childhood, to care for his ailing grandfather, and finds himself confronted by a former unrequited love.

Starring:
Arye Gross, Eric Schweig
Runtime:
1 hour, 58 minutes

Customer Reviews

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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By giovannif7 on April 4, 2004
Format: DVD
Big Eden is a romantic fantasy for mature souls. This warm, wonderful film taps into the universal emotional drives for family, love, and a place to call home. Audiences at numerous film festivals have taken to heart the Everyman characters created by some exceptional performers, guided by the writing and direction of Thomas Bezucha.
The story revolves around Henry Hart. He's a transplanted New Yorker - an artist on the verge of major success in the big city. As he readies for his big gallery show, a call comes from his hometown. His grandfather, the man who raised Henry after the death of his parents, has had a stroke. Henry, despite the protests of his friend/agent, hops the first plane back to Montana, and quickly becomes thrust back into the lives of the small community he had left years before.
As he integrates back into the Big Eden community, Henry has to cope with helping his grandfather adjust to his medical condition, as well as dealing with the curiosity and interference of the well-meaning locals. The standout is the Widow Thayer, who is enlisted to do the cooking for Henry and his grandfather, but who takes it upon herself to play matchmaker for Henry.
Henry's most-anticipated reunion is with Dean, his best friend from high school, and not-so-secret crush. Dean has also recently returned to town following his divorce, and is very happy to rekindle his friendship with Henry. Other familiar faces from Henry's past include Anna, the mayor of the town, and Pike, the painfully shy, enigmatic owner of the general store.
As Henry and Dean begin to re-explore their relationship, another potential romantic partner surfaces, and the whole town becomes aware of the situation.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Rognlien VINE VOICE on August 22, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this movie on the recommendation of a friend and I'm really pleased that I bought it.
First of all, the plot is really unlike any other gay movie I've seen. It's not set in the city (NY, LA, SF etc) and has zero muscleboys in the cast, but it's one of the best-cast and acted movies in a long time.
A great date movie, for sure, but also an interesting view into what life could and will be like one day in the not-so-distant future when being gay is just another part of the cultural makeup of society.
The DVD has a lot of nice bonus material including information on the production, the beautiful location used for the film's setting, the actors and the evolution of the film from idea to celluloid.
I really can't recommend this movie enough - it's not earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination, but it has rich, well-developed characters, a beautiful setting, and a lot of heart and soul.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By James Hiller VINE VOICE on May 11, 2002
Format: DVD
It's been interesting to hear and read comments about this film, from fellow reviewers and friends. Some of them center on "unbelievable, unrealistic, no small town in Montana would ever act that way." But they miss an important point about this film. If our goal someday is to build a society that accepts all people for who they are, then we need to support those positive images on our movie screens as much as possible. Thomas Bezucha's vision provides us a beautiful fable and beautiful images in the film called "Big Eden".
"Big Eden" is about Henry Hart, struggling to find the important things in life, realizing those things are in the community that raised him as a child. Traveling back to Big Eden, Montana, to care for his ailing grandfather allows him to confront issues in his life that he spent many years running away from. Landing back home, surrounded by people that devotely love him, becomes emotionally overwhelming for him, and his struggle only intensifies. Throw in his best friend/unrequited love, and new potential love in Eric Schweig's incredible performance as Pike. As Henry falls deeper into Big Eden's web, he finds himself discovering answers, and even more questions.
Give Bezucha credit for a gutsy script. Here is a gay film that breaks many rules of "gay filmmaking": there is no sex, there is no 20 year old cute boy walking around shirtless, no club scene, no drugs, no homophobic country hicks in trucks ready to pounce at first light. He gives us straight and gay characters who believe and act as people first, who are allowed the intimate, complex lives we all should have. He gives us a town that celebrates all the good things in life: companion, love, honesty, compassion, without fear of labels. Mostly, he gives us a story, some incredible characters that we absolutely love, and sets it in some of the most beautiful scenery captured on film in recent years.
Three cheers for Big Eden, it's one step in the right direction.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Johnson on October 11, 2002
The only reason I saw this movie was to see Eric Schweig. Prior to seeing it, I had no idea it was a gay film. It took me by surprise how touching the love story is. No matter how straight you are, as long as you are not homophobic, you will laugh, sigh, and get frustrated along with Henry and Pike. I personally no longer saw two guys in love, but rather two people in love. They're so adorable!
The community portrayed in the film is the ideal world where no one judges the other in his/her sexual orientation. Here, senior citizens, church going members, and macho cowboys all root for these two men to get together! On top of it, these two men are of different ethnic backgrounds (Caucasian and Native American). Can there possibly be a more tolerant and ideal society as this?
It's truly a beautiful film. Recommended for gay/lesbian people (naturally), people who enjoy "chick-flicks", people who are stressed in the city and need a "time-out" by watching a relaxing and touching movie, Eric Schweig fans,etc.
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