“BATHROOM STALLS & PARKING LOTS”— A Look at Underground Gay Culture



A Look at Underground Gay Culture

Amos Lassen

I have noticed that Brazilian gay films tend to be a bit more audacious and daring than those from other countries and director Thales Correas even says that he wanted to make a film that was indeed daring and audacious and that is what he has done with “Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots”. It also happens to be a picture of our community as it is in terms of looking for and finding acceptance. We will not find such an authentic film as this any time soon.

Leo (Correa) is a Brazilian who has come to live in America (like the director) and he decides to go to San Francisco to see what he has heard so much about. He is surprised to find Totah (Felix Olmedoz), his American sex buddy also visiting there but that doesn’t change his plans for fun. He gets together with his friend, Donnie (Izzy Palazzini) as they go through the clubs in The Castro District and force a casual encounter to show Totah that there can be compatibility aside from sex. Donnie’s straight friend, Hunter (Oscar Mansky)  a hopeless romantic, joins them as they try to teach Leo how to turn a relationship based on casual sex into something more meaningful. As they bar hop and go to seedy places, they find themselves dealing with unexpected  obstacles that challenge how they approach relationships and they might even end up risking their own friendship.

As they “run” the streets of San Francisco to follow an American fling that they had begun on Grindr, they do whatever they have to, even if it means going to the seedy club scene where hookups take place in bathroom stalls and parking lots. As they spent time in this milieu, they discover truths about themselves and what modern dating is all about. The film has already won several prizes and is on its way to win even more.

This is an outrageous new comedy with a title that dares to say what so many of us come face to face with. Our players are also immigrants who speak their own language as well as broken English. While the movie is quite funny, it is also a look at the  sexy underground gay world and the culture of romantic relationships among gay/bisexual young men in the Castro (Although every town has its version of that district). More important is that we see “how dating apps have turned relationships into disposable and meaningless experiences.”

As Leo learns from this experience, we see some fun scenes including an underwear party Leo’s relationship with Donnie moves toward a quietly powerful climax. As honest and funny as it is, “Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots” is also sweet and a look at being young, gay and a bit promiscuous.