David’s Birthday (DVD Review)19 Sep, 2010 By: Billy Gil
Prebook 9/21/10; Street 11/9/10
Stars Thyago Alves, Massimo Poggio, Maria de Medeiros.
Marco Filiberti’s David’s Birthday is like a modern-day, gay Greek tragedy, set in the gorgeous Italian Riviera.
Two middle-aged couples set out to a villa on the beach for the summer to enjoy each other’s company and take in the sun. But, as one character remarks, it’s a particularly hot summer. No kidding: One couple’s fetching son, David (shaggy headed Armani model Thyago Alves), shows up on vacation from modeling in New York, which stirs up long-hidden emotions in married psychiatrist Matteo (scruffy Massimo Poggio, no slouch himself).
While the set-up would suggest a gay Euro romp, it’s actually more akin to the opera of Tristan and Isolde the couples watch at the film’s outset, clueing the film’s audience into Matteo’s dilemma. That’s too bad, because what could have (and probably should have) been a much more enticing film becomes melodrama. There’s genuine heat between David and Matteo, and the scenery is stunning, full of purple skies and clear water, but the core plot often is drowned out in distracting side plots.