Tampa Bay LGBTQ film fest reviews: ‘Good Manners,’ ‘TransMilitary,’ ‘Ideal Home’

Published October 3 2018
Updated October 3 2018

The 29th annual Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival kicks off Friday with 31 feature films and 31 shorts.

Feeling overwhelmed by the selection? tbt* correspondent Steve Warren has seen many of the films screening through Oct. 13. Here are his takes on a few of this year’s offerings, with ratings, out of four stars.

Good Manners (***½)

8:45 p.m. Oct. 8, Tampa Theatre, $15

The main character’s a lesbian and has some love scenes early on, but Good Manners is a horror movie, potentially a classic of the genre. Rich, white and pregnant Ana (Marjorie Estiano) hires poor black Clara (Isabél Zuaa) to be a nanny when her son is born. Meanwhile she moves Clara in as housekeeper, cook and companion. But when the moon is full, Clara learns other things about Ana that set Good Manners apart from other Brazilian interracial lesbian romances. The second half takes place seven years later, when sex is less important than survival. Horror fans, don’t miss it!

RELATED: Tampa Bay film festival showcases mosaic of LGBTQ life

TransMilitary (***)

5 p.m. Oct. 11, Tampa Theatre, $15

By the end of the slick, professional TransMilitary, you’ll feel you’ve met four transgender people — two trans men and two trans women — and gotten to know them pretty well. You’ll share their victories and disappointments, and maybe shed a tear or two. All four (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Cpl. Laila Villanueva, Capt. Jennifer Peace and 1st Lt. El Cook) serve honorably in the military, or did during most of the filming — between 2014-16, when they were still forbidden to serve openly. That changed, then changed back, and the issue is still bouncing around in the courts, as final titles inform us.

Ideal Home (***)

8 p.m. Oct. 13, AMC Sundial 20, $15

For 10 years, Erasmus (Steve Coogan), who hosts a TV cooking show, and Paul (Paul Rudd) have been loving each other and bickering constantly. Enter a 10-year-old (Jack Gore) whose father was fathered by Erasmus in the ’80s. Dad’s in jail and he needs a place to stay. Yes, our guys warm to the kid, but things don’t get nearly as sappy as they usually do in these comedies, partly due to all the hard-R dialogue, much of it really funny. Based on his own experience, out writer-director Andrew Fleming entertainingly makes the point that same-sex couples can raise children.

— thinhead@mindspring.com

If you go

This year’s Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival runs Friday through Oct. 13.

General admission tickets are $15; $50 for four pack.

For more information, read our TIGLFF preview.