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[Short Reviews]

BIG EDEN

With a title like Big Eden, you expect paradisal mountain landscapes and a return to primal bliss. And so it might have been in Thomas Bezuchaís uneven romantic comedy were Henry (Arye Gross) not such a self-involved nudge. Heís a successful Manhattan painter (Iím sorry, but all his canvases look like cheesy screensavers) called back to his Montana roots when his feisty grandad has a stroke. There heís reunited with local hunk Dean (Tim DeKay), his teasing, unconsummated schoolboy crush, who is now divorced with two kids and still unclear on his sexual direction. So Henry spends a good part of the movie whining to his recuperating grandfather and his friends in the Big Apple while his crusty neighbors (this is clearly not the Montana of homophobic hate crimes and militia groups) try to arrange a liaison between him and Pike (Eric Schweig, the best thing in the movie), the strapping, black-maned, torturously shy Native American demi-god who runs the general store. Every Eden, no matter how big, is destined for a fall, and this one collapses quickly into contrivance as it becomes painfully obvious that Pike is just too good for Henry.

By Peter Keough

Issue Date: July 12-19, 2001