Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.
The Unwrapped Package: Shared Rooms
With the holiday season undeniably upon us, why not get into the spirit with a delightful, romantic comedy in the vein of Love, Actually? Shared Rooms revolves around a group of friends celebrating the holidays separately, and together: a hook-up turns serious, a roommate arrangement masks hidden feelings, and a happily married couple takes in a young, gay ward. As an added gift, the film features no shortage of full-frontal nudity from actors Justin Xavier and Alexander Neil Smith who spend most of the film’s runtime with their packages unwrapped. Yes, there are yule logs to behold.
No, we will not be making any chimney jokes.
Despite its obvious low-budget shortcomings–the rushed production schedule definitely shows in places–Shared Rooms has an undeniable charm, probably because it comes from a place of sincere love. The movie’s only misstep comes in the way it handles a gay couple taking in a wayward teenager: one of the men seems a bit too interested in having a young guy (his nephew, no less) around the house. Otherwise, the actors–clothed or otherwise–all give credible performances, and the story ultimately celebrates the bond of friendship, and the hope that comes with the holiday season. Goofy, sexy and heartfelt, Shared Rooms is a fine way to welcome the holidays, and a love letter to the families we build.
Streams on Tubi, Amazon, iTunes & VUDU.