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Top Customer Reviews
Brady is a shy, introspective 18 year old spending the summer before going away to college in a small coast town in Northern California. He is there with his widowed mother, who is a devout Christian in the process of establishing a religious school for the local pastor. Brady spends most of his time either reading the bible or staring off at the waves crashing on shore, until he meets a neighbor's free-spirited visiting son, 19 year old Clifford. While we later find out that Brady had some early inklings that he was somewhat attracted to other boys, he never before felt drawn to anyone as he feels to Clifford, and the other boy makes it clear that the feeling is mutual. Sensing his apprehensions and inexperience, Clifford lets their relationship develop slowly over the course of the summer, and, although he kids Brady about being a "nerd" in many of his interests, is careful not to express a conflict with his religious upbringing and convictions.
A beautifully written story by director/writer David Lewis ("Under One Roof"), capably acted by a talented Bay Area cast. While the basic plot is not original, and the story development somewhat predictable, it is told in a well-paced, sweet and romantic manner that lets the viewer feel the emotions experienced by the characters. The one negative I must point out is Lewis' seeming obsession with numerous extended scenes of waves crashing on the beach (Waves wash out like past experiences, wash back to erase what was on the sand before, metaphor for life going on, new beginnings, yadda yadda yadda ... WE GET IT! The ocean should not have more screen time than the actors!Read more ›
Brady (Sean Hoagland) lives at the beach with his mother (Laura Jane Coles) preparing to go to Bible college at summer's end: the two are strongly right wing religious people. Into this rather rigid atmosphere steps Clifford (Owen Alabado) and there is an immediate chemistry between the two young lads - Clifford being openly gay while Brady is so far back in the dark closet that Clifford's mere presence terrifies him. Clifford's mother (Katheryn Hecht) is a free spirit who deals comfortably with her son's feelings and tries to support Brady in his fear of sinning. Brady's mother 'can't change the way she believes' (gay relationships are sinful) and tries to 'change' Brady by encouraging his attraction to a sweet well-meaning girl (Erin Daly) who just happens to understand Brady's needs more than he does! The manner in which this conflict is approached and quasi-resolved is weak as written and directed
by David Lewis (who also plays the role of the minister...), and the ending is unsatisfactory at best.
The quality of acting is low on the scale but the sincerity is palpable. The viewer wants to care for these young lads confronting love for the first time, but the situation posed by the meager dialog and the ending keep it from becoming the nice little wisp of a film it could have been. The scenery is the star, but it is hardly the `haven' for this dilemma that the title suggests. Grady Harp, December 07
****WRONG!***** What I found instead was a well made, loving, and powerful little film, which I have quite fallen in love with and have already viewed at least ten times (yes, it DOES hold up to repeat viewings, with little "moments" and subtleties yet to be discovered).
Although this is a low budget independent effort, what it lacks in polish it more than makes up for in "heart". It has some flaws, but they are very minor in comparison to the power and sincerety of the film as a whole.
The story deals with a young religious man who, with his mom, has just moved to a small but beautiful coastal town, and his budding romance with the (very "out") boy who lives a couple of houses down. That sounds very blah, but the film is enlivened by very sincere and professional performances by a really good cast (overall).
Of course what makes it interesting is the religious angle. This is a Bible-studying, sincerely dedicated boy--- not someone who is "casual" about his religion. How will he reconcile his Bible viewpoint with his growing love for the dishy guy down the street?
Another thing that makes ROCK HAVEN ring truer than other films tackling these issues is that the boy and his mom --both devout Bible followers-- are not presented as religious bigots or hateful people, but just people who are mentally committed to a certain viewpoint. Of course, those viewpoints are about to be tested!
Also, the boy down the street is presented as open-minded and quietly confident in his gayness, not as a gay crusader out to offend the Christians by being "in-your-face" all the time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
David Lewis' feature debut Rock Haven concerns a teenage boy named Brady who moves with his mother to a new town. The pair is devoutly religious. Read more
This DVD wouldn't play in my $5,000 Esoteric DVD player. Same results as the other reviewers commented: it started breaking up after about an hour, picture froze, etc. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Classic in VA
I bought 2 copies of this DVD. TWO. I have 2 players, a dvd player that i've had for over a decade and still plays good, and a Blu Ray player. TWO PLAYERS. Read morePublished 6 months ago by ajsim58
My new DVD was fine ;the 1st hour,then the picture;blinked in-out,-green,then black screen--- broke up, & sound was lost---the movie itself; from what I could actually enjoy was... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Leo Hardy
An outstanding coming of age movie. Discussion of the most common of the 2 "G". God & Gay.Published 13 months ago by Richard Goenaga
The plot of "Rock Haven" (2007) is simple and realistic, though far from original: is being gay an impossibility if you consider yourself a Christian as well? Read morePublished 13 months ago by Michael A Moore
Watch it again a few times each year. Good for Christians who are gay and dealing with an undue inner conflict. You are the way God made you. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Barry
i thought this was a well done movie, very sweet and real. sean Hoagland was terrific. now...honestly, folks, I keep reading reviews of gay-themed movies where reviewers sniff at... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bruce C. Miller