Image Credit: ‘Turtles,’ Outplay Films / Dark Star Pictures

What happens after “Happily Ever After”?

For as many stories we have about meet-cutes, first loves, and the sweeping rush of new romances, tales of long-term companionship—all of its ups and downs—are much more rare in film and television, especially when it comes to gay relationships.

That makes the romantic dramedy Turtles feel like something wholly unique, and all the more exciting.

From writer-director David Lambert, the French and English-language film introduces us to older gay couple Henri (Olivier Gourmet) and Thom (Dave Johns, who international film fans may recognize from the Cannes-winning I, Daniel Blake), who have built a life in Brussels and have been together happily for 35 years. Or so it would seem…

After retiring from his job on the local police force, Henri finds himself depressed and bored with his life. Not even Thom putting on a sexy outfit, bringing him breakfast in bed, and playing their song—Ottawan’s “Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart)”—can cheer Henri up.

With each passing day, the distance between them grows wider and wider, and their once happy home becomes a battleground. But Thom still finds himself madly in love, and isn’t willing to give up on them so easily.

Image Credit: ‘Turtles,’ Outplay Films / Dark Star Pictures

He’ll do whatever it takes to make things right. The two sixty-something gay men even try using Grindr for the first time, which opens up a whole other world of complications for them.

Eventually, a desperate Thom realizes: Their best bet at rekindling the spark in their romance? Asking for a divorce.

Turtles takes its name from the pair of pets—Topsy and Turvy—they’ve both been caring for since they first moved in together all those years ago. Once a symbol of their longevity, the turtles now might be the only thing keeping Henri and Thom together.

Lambert’s bittersweet film first premiered in France last fall, then made its U.S. debut at the SXSW film festival this past March. Recently, indie distributor Dark Star Pictures acquired the film and is planning to give it a proper stateside release in the near future.

However, thanks to Miami’s OUTshine LGBTQ+ film festival (running now through April 28) you have a chance to see it even sooner!

Turtles actually kicked off this year’s OUTshine as its opening night gala premiere on April 18th, but it’s part of an impressive crop of films that’ll be virtually available—no matter where you are—through the fest’s OUTshine At Home online platform beginning April 29. You can find tickets and more information right here.

Check out the trailer for Turtles below, and stay tuned for more information on its proper U.S. release:

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