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on December 16, 2013
I was blown away by this movie. It is extremely well acted, the story is gripping and very romantic for those who love romance. I have a lot of movies, but this one made it to my top 3 favorites instantly. I have watched it three times since I received it. You should first see the original movie The Falls prior to watching this movie so you can see how the relationship between Chris and RJ begins. I hope there is another sequel to this movie. I highly recommend this movie.
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on January 29, 2014
The Falls: Testament of Love (2013). Not Rated. Running Time: 2 hours, 02 mins.
Director, Producer, writer, Jon Garcia.
This is the sequel to: The Falls (2012).
Returning: Nick Ferrucci, Benjamin Farmer, Harold Phillips, Audrey Walker. Brian Allard is in a deleted scene.

When we left the first movie, R.J. was kicked out of the missionary. He now has doubts about continuing his Mormon studies. His missionary room mate he had a close relationship with also left the missionary. Now after receiving a letter from Chris, R.J. has decided to travel to see Chris.

As this second movie begins, R.J. Smith (Nick Ferrucci) tells us what has happened during these 5 years. Him and Chris (Benjamin Farmer) traveled across America during the one year they had known each other. They had talked about Chris joining R.J. at Boise State. He drove Chris back to Salt Lake City, Utah and said there goodbyes. R.J. went to Boise State, but then there was no word from Chris. No telephone calls, no letters. R.J. now lives in Seattle, Washington and has a companion, Paul (Thomas Stroppel).
So, what happened to Chris? You are about to find out.
This is just the first few minutes of the movie.

Also in the cast: Hannah Barefoot, Trish Egan, Bruce Jennings.

Contains male frontal nudity, sexual situations.

Special Features: 2 deleted scenes. Q&A from the World Premiere at Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The Falls Testament of Love Behind The Scenes. The Falls 1 - Extended Behind the Scenes and Outtakes. Photo Gallery. Trailer.

Hopefully, they will make a third movie. If Jon Garcia has the money, greenlight and the returning main cast. A story has not be written yet. Nothing official yet, but the fans would like a third movie.
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on March 1, 2014
As a man who was married for many years before coming to grips with the fact that I was gay, I thought this movie was just about perfect. Very accurately depicted the struggle on the man's part and also the difficulties faced by the wife. I would definitely recommend this movie. Although is brought up a lot of emotions in me, I nonetheless loved it because of its quality, accuracy, and all-around entertainment value.
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on December 11, 2013
Such is the transcendent sentiment which sustains this second installment of the superb drama, "The Falls." Everything about this movie rings true--absolutely pitch-perfect. The acting is excellent, as it was in the first installment. The movie reinforces my belief that independent cinema comes from a place that more commercial ventures have abandoned, that place being "reality." I was surprised, watching the director and cast interviews on the DVD extras, that Mormons (or ex-Mormons, perhaps) were not a part of the script or cast: the result of a perfect screenplay. I hope that Mr. Garcia, Mr. Ferrucci, and Mr. Farmer, as well as the rest of the cast, return with a third movie so that I do not have to say goodbye to this authentic and romantic drama. .
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on December 12, 2013
The Falls is an affecting, touching film despite its flaws. The script at times is creaky. Some of the acting, especially the part of R.J.'s father, is unconvincing. Certain scenes, even important ones, don't work because they are under realized, not carefully enough thought through. Yet enough does work in it that it succeeds in being a better movie than many low budget gay films have been. It has an emotional conviction running through it, a seriousness, that sustains it. And some moments in it, even what might seem to be relatively unimportant ones, like that of the two guys riding the bus, looking at each other, being affectionate, glow with feeling.

The sequel, The Falls: Testament of Love, is a better movie. Though it is also marred, it is more emotionally complex, the script is tighter and more purposeful, and, perhaps in part because of the larger cast, it is better acted. R.J. Smith, in a sense the movie's "frame," or at least the character who begins and ends the film and upon occasion serves as its narrator, is still stolidly, monochromatically acted. Most of the time, he appears stonily glum. His boyfriend Paul is so much more animated and emotionally alive and responsive, that one might wonder what he sees in R.J. who responds to him often so coldly.

R.J. is the film's biggest problem. His love for Chris appears almost obsessional, troubled and troubling. His trip to Salt Lake City, what he does there, are disturbing, just a few steps away from his turning into a stalker. It is unclear, at least to me, whether the film itself sees how excessively, and obsessionally, he is behaving, though by the end, in Chris's statement that "he forgives him," one gains a clarity that might have been shown earlier if R.J. had been acted with more subtlety. I am not judging R.J. He does what he does. I am just wondering if his character, the troubling side of it, is sufficiently portrayed, if he couldn't have been made less stiff and more emotionally conflicted, more self aware. He doesn't seem to know how bizarrely he is behaving, as when, just to offer one instance, he insinuates himself into staying overnight at Chris's and his wife's home.

One can say, of course, that he does what he does out of his love for Chris, to free him from his internal crisis by forcing him to admit that he is gay both to himself and to others. Yet his way of doing so at times borders on craziness, the lover in pursuit of his beloved no matter what, the selfish lover in short. Does the film see this? Or is it just me? I don't know.

The complexity I miss in R.J. is, however, much more fully present in Chris. Benjamin Farmer's performance of the character in the sequel is far more interesting than it was in the earlier film. His inner struggle, his suffering, his anger, the ways in which his closetedness endangers his life and lives of others, all these and other emotions are visible at times merely in his eyes. It is sensitive work that carries the film over its rougher moments.

Much of the supporting cast is also good, Chris's wife in particular, and some of the minor characters, like Aaron, another closeted and married former missionary, have scenes that are more convincing and resonant than any moments in the earlier movie. A few of the actors are still weak. R.J.'s father remains insufficiently depicted, for instance. But, since this is largely Chris's movie, it succeeds much more consistently than The Falls.

Of course, this is still a low budget movie, and moments in it betray that fact. The anniversary party looks to have been attended by about ten people, even though it means to fill a large hall. It is clear that much of it was filmed in the same location. There are gaps in the plot's logic that I can't elaborate upon here without giving away too much. The ending feels to me too tacked on, its openness less a gesture toward a more generous future than uncertain about who these two main characters, said to love each other, might be and become. Such uncertainty, one might say, is true to life. Fine. But the ending nonetheless strikes me as abrupt.

Still, like its predecessor, the movie carries with it real conviction. The best of Testament of Love is far better than the earlier film, better acted, much better written, and better shot. It is a stronger movie, serious in ways that far too many low budget gay movies don't aspire to be. Though it is flawed as well, it is even more moving, and what it is concerned with goes much deeper. The movie's religious themes, if often still superficial, nonetheless give it a resonance it would lack without them. But the heart of it doesn't lie in them. That is fortunate, I think. This is not Bresson we are watching, after all. It lies in the relationship between the two men.

At least one person in that relationship must dig deep inside himself to endure, to save himself and to love others, in particular to love a man openly and freely. One might wish at the end, perhaps, that the man he has loved and apparently loves still, R.J., had reached as deeply inside himself as Chris must do, to find himself as clearly (however differently) as Chris has begun to. It's an uneven film, then, yet, despite its small and not so small failures, moving and worth seeing.
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on February 2, 2014
Says so much about religion, in general. Even though the movie is about two Mormon missionaries. Really touches a sensitive nerve with me. I grew up with a church background (not Mormon) and I spent a lot of time praying not to be gay. It didn't work. I got married, had two kids, and then divorced. Then came out. You need to watch The Falls first and then this one.
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on January 21, 2014
I didn't know that the sequel had been made until I accidentally discovered it here on Amazon. Needless to say, I ordered it immediately and I was not disappointed. As in the first movie, this one is excellently acted by supreme artists and it is powerfully written and directed by Jon Garcia, who just got it better the second time around. Sequels rarely live up to the original but this is the exception here. It was absolutely superb and surpassed my expectations. There were many tears shed watching this film because it speaks to so many people, not just gay people, but to everyone on so many different levels. One can identify with all of the major characters to some degree or another. The acting is truly superb which is so rare for a low budget gay film. The sound is a lot better this time around than the first. The cinematography is beautiful. The whole film is riveting because one is rooting for everyone....all the characters make one feel love, betrayal, pain, denial, sorrow, hope. Kudos to Mr. Garcia, Mr. Ferrucci, and Mr. Farmer for not disappointing this viewer who fell in love with the first movie and is even more in love with the second movie. If there is a third, I will be indeed be buying it...and sharing it. Thank you, thank you!
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on June 18, 2014
Only after I watched the special features did I learn this film was two hours long. That I had to be informed of this fact by the Q&A feature is a credit to Jon Garcia and the cast. When a film is this great--with a truly gripping story and excellent performers--time just flies effortlessly.

The danger of doing a sequel is more about not living up to the viewers' imagined continuation of the story than it is about just making a poor film. At the end of The Falls, I was left wanting more and I created my own plausible story. Testament of Love far surpassed what I ever would have imaged. This sequel can also stand on its own as a film if the viewer did not see the original. Enough of the backstory is woven into Testament of Love so that no viewer will feel lost.

The original film was about forbidden romance and coming of age within the structure of religion. The sequel is about the truth. An important loose end--the question: what happened with Rodney?-- is resolved early in the film and drives all that is to come, is the death of Rodney. Rodney's funeral brings Chris and RJ back together after 5 long years without contact. Also Rodney's message from The Falls--to live a little--is the inspiration for all that happens.

The truth is front and center when RJ returns from Rodney's funeral and will not say "I love you" back to Paul, his current boyfriend. RJ later breaks up with Paul as an act of honesty. The actor portraying Paul gives an especially fine and nuanced performance. Paul's facial expressions say so much.

Much of the rest of the film follows Chris as he works to catch up to his own truth. With RJ's provocation, Chris is forced to think about the lies he is living. RJ arrives in Salt Lake City and lands on Chris's doorstep. This sets up a chain of events that finally leads to resolution for everyone, including Chris's parents.

After repeated viewings, I have to say Testament of Love is one of my all time favorite films. Everything is better about the sequel then the original. Acting and production values are far better in this sequel, but it is still the story that grabs me and won't let go.

So even after two hours I was left wanting more. Hopefully, that means another sequel in which Chris uses that plane ticket to Seattle. I think a wedding is in order and maybe adoption...and maybe both Chris and RJ can dedicate their lives to working to make sure young gay people never contemplate suicide.
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on July 23, 2014
It was interesting to see a continuation of the The Falls with The Falls: Testament of Love. The sex scenes are not overdone and fit in well emotionally and sequentially. RJ and Chris really look like they are meant to be together, and you have to really feel sorry for Paul and Emily. The dynamics between religion and sexuality and how it all played out was not surprising for me, but they do reach out to people who feel like they have lived similar struggles or whom like to watch these struggles and how they unfold in video format. This movie, like the first one, is slow in pace appropriately. It might be too slow for some, but it was just right for me.

The ending was contrived in the sense that it allowed for possible continuation for additional sequel(s), but the story got to the point where it really should have been a happy ending. However, even though a happy ending would have been more cohesive for this storyline, it could have been too controversial for religious groups. Counter-intuitive to that though, how many people in conservative religious groups are watching or even aware of this movie though? It's not like it's on primetime TV or was in mainstream theaters in the US.

Side note: I have the DVD of The Falls Part 1:, which says "Another Testament of Love" on it, which is confusing because it's the first one in the series, so how is it "another"?
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on March 2, 2014
I really liked The Falls, the first of these two films. Like the first, Testament of Love moves at a somewhat slower pace than some movies in this genre. It moves thoughtfully, carefully, and the conflicts finally boil over. Many times I wasn't certain how this movie was going to end. There was no foregone conclusion throughout it until we come to the very end. It's a moving, impressive movie. I really cared for the struggles that these two men go through. They hurt, they deal with heavy questions and they resolve their issues. I was impressed with the beauty of this movie. The acting is so good as the characters come to terms with their own sexuality, their own personal situations, jobs, lives, families. Watch this film. If you liked or loved The Falls, you'll find this film slower, but very rewarding.
Highly recommended!!
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