If you don’t know the bear community is having its moment, we’re guessing you were in hibernation. (Yes, there will be bear jokes.)
As a social scene, bears have been around for decades. But now we’re seeing the emergence of a bear consciousness—activist groups, artists, designers, pop-culture icons.
And, of course, bear movies.
In 2010, BearCity took film festivals and moviehouses by storm—telling the story of a gang of bear friends in New York. Tyler (Joe Conti), a cub new to the scene, falls head-over-heals for daddy bear lothario Roger (Gerald McCullouch), who has to decide if he wants to love Tyler and leave him—or embark on, gasp, a long-term relationship. Audiences, ursine and not, loved it—it was like a mix of Sex & the City, Jeffrey and Ice Road Truckers.
Of course, the hot guys and hilarious bathroom humor were a plus.
Well, it’s here!
The “Bear Pack” is back together again, but this time they’re in Ptown (go figure) for Tyler and Roger’s wedding. But with foam parties, exes, surprise visits from in-laws and more than 3,000 party animals, nothing goes according to plan.
The sequel reunites writer and director Doug Langway with his beloved Bear Pack—Conti, McCullouch, Brian Keane, Stephen Guarino, Alex Di Dio, Gregory Gunter and James Martinez—and adds Kathy Najimi, Dan Choi, Frank DiCaro, Mike Ruiz, Jason Stuart and Varla Jean Merman to the mix—plus a woofy cameo from bear holy grail Kevin Smith.
For Langway, there’s definitely a different feel to the two films: “With BearCity, there was an educational element that needed to be woven into the storyline,” he says. “I felt a responsibility to paint a fair yet aspirational picture of the movement and to get the audience to develop a very different standard of beauty.”
With the education of the audience out of the way for BearCity 2, Langway could focus on more of what he calls “the search for true love and the question of commitment—at a time when commitment and marriage are at the forefront of possibility.”
Making a movie is difficult; making a good one is doubly so. And having lighting strike twice is darn near impossible. But Langway had the support of the bear community from almost the start: “The [first] script was based on very real moments I had experienced over the years, and I think other bears felt that,” he says. And I think people instantly fell in love with these characters because the were so close to tangible relationships in their own lives.” And audiences were hungry for more.
Now, as BearCity 2 makes the festival rounds—after OutFest, it heads to Philaldephia’s QFest for its East Coast debut—the next obvious question is, will there be a BearCity 3? Perhaps Bears in Space—or The Dark Bear Rises? Langway is tight on details, but he teases “we’ll continue onto the next step in the journey of life for our beloved Bear Pack.”
Do we see dirty diapers in Tyler and Roger’s future? Only time will tell
Check out the official teaser for BearCity 2 below, then out where it’s playing near you!