Today Only: Up to 69% Off "Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection," "Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series," and More Today's Deals in Movies & TV: See all Includes "Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection," "Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series," "The Mel Brooks Collection," and More. Offer valid December 1, 2015, while supplies last. Learn more
The concept of this film is better than its realisation. "The Falls: Testament of Love" is about two gay/bisexual L.D.S. Mormons, who had been missionary companions, together having an homosexual love affair on their mission, who were dismissed, who enjoyed a leisurely amourous gay roadtrip before parting seemingly for good, and who now reunite five years later. The premise of sexual ardour reignited, love coming out of remission, and how that impacts the life of the one of the two young men who has married, is the stuff of a first-rate romantic epic. However, as good as the concept is, the slow pacing and languid timing of this plodding video-movie is anything but adequately cinematic. Truly banal, inept dialogue does not help things along one little bit. The acting per se, for all of that, mostly is quite fine, however numerous the faults of the script and direction are.
The film, given its subject and the relentless sincerity of it all, is worth seeing and keeping for later (much, much later!) viewing again. It helps that neither the original "The Falls" (QC Cinema QCC-343 being the North American DVD edition viewed) nor this sequel, "The Falls: Testament of Love" (of which QC Cinema QCC-378 is the DVD edition viewed), makes light of Mormonism. There is a successful attempt, indeed, to portray Mormonism authentically and without undue mockery or vituperation. (This assessment coming from the writer of these lines, who directly experienced life and Utah family heritage, dissolute Grandpa's ongoing discreet polygamy and all, in childhood within the pagan L.D.S. cult.) Such restraint counts among the positive assets of this surely made-for-video movie.Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Amazingly well done!Dec 16 2013
J. David Michaels
- Published on Amazon.com
I was blown away by this movie. It is extremely well acted, the story is gripping and very romantic for those who love romance. I have a lot of movies, but this one made it to my top 3 favorites instantly. I have watched it three times since I received it. You should first see the original movie The Falls prior to watching this movie so you can see how the relationship between Chris and RJ begins. I hope there is another sequel to this movie. I highly recommend this movie.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The continuing story of R.J. and Chris...and when.Jan. 29 2014
James P. McDonald
- Published on Amazon.com
The Falls: Testament of Love (2013). Not Rated. Running Time: 2 hours, 02 mins. Director, Producer, writer, Jon Garcia. This is the sequel to: The Falls (2012). Returning: Nick Ferrucci, Benjamin Farmer, Harold Phillips, Audrey Walker. Brian Allard is in a deleted scene.
When we left the first movie, R.J. was kicked out of the missionary. He now has doubts about continuing his Mormon studies. His missionary room mate he had a close relationship with also left the missionary. Now after receiving a letter from Chris, R.J. has decided to travel to see Chris.
As this second movie begins, R.J. Smith (Nick Ferrucci) tells us what has happened during these 5 years. Him and Chris (Benjamin Farmer) traveled across America during the one year they had known each other. They had talked about Chris joining R.J. at Boise State. He drove Chris back to Salt Lake City, Utah and said there goodbyes. R.J. went to Boise State, but then there was no word from Chris. No telephone calls, no letters. R.J. now lives in Seattle, Washington and has a companion, Paul (Thomas Stroppel). So, what happened to Chris? You are about to find out. This is just the first few minutes of the movie.
Also in the cast: Hannah Barefoot, Trish Egan, Bruce Jennings.
Contains male frontal nudity, sexual situations.
Special Features: 2 deleted scenes. Q&A from the World Premiere at Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. The Falls Testament of Love Behind The Scenes. The Falls 1 - Extended Behind the Scenes and Outtakes. Photo Gallery. Trailer.
Hopefully, they will make a third movie. If Jon Garcia has the money, greenlight and the returning main cast. A story has not be written yet. Nothing official yet, but the fans would like a third movie.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Awesome gay-themed movie especially for me who came out while marriedMarch 1 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
As a man who was married for many years before coming to grips with the fact that I was gay, I thought this movie was just about perfect. Very accurately depicted the struggle on the man's part and also the difficulties faced by the wife. I would definitely recommend this movie. Although is brought up a lot of emotions in me, I nonetheless loved it because of its quality, accuracy, and all-around entertainment value.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
"There's nothing wrong with us ... we're living in a culture that doesn't accept us"Dec 11 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Such is the transcendent sentiment which sustains this second installment of the superb drama, "The Falls." Everything about this movie rings true--absolutely pitch-perfect. The acting is excellent, as it was in the first installment. The movie reinforces my belief that independent cinema comes from a place that more commercial ventures have abandoned, that place being "reality." I was surprised, watching the director and cast interviews on the DVD extras, that Mormons (or ex-Mormons, perhaps) were not a part of the script or cast: the result of a perfect screenplay. I hope that Mr. Garcia, Mr. Ferrucci, and Mr. Farmer, as well as the rest of the cast, return with a third movie so that I do not have to say goodbye to this authentic and romantic drama. .
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Better than The FallsDec 12 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The Falls is an affecting, touching film despite its flaws. The script at times is creaky. Some of the acting, especially the part of R.J.'s father, is unconvincing. Certain scenes, even important ones, don't work because they are under realized, not carefully enough thought through. Yet enough does work in it that it succeeds in being a better movie than many low budget gay films have been. It has an emotional conviction running through it, a seriousness, that sustains it. And some moments in it, even what might seem to be relatively unimportant ones, like that of the two guys riding the bus, looking at each other, being affectionate, glow with feeling.
The sequel, The Falls: Testament of Love, is a better movie. Though it is also marred, it is more emotionally complex, the script is tighter and more purposeful, and, perhaps in part because of the larger cast, it is better acted. R.J. Smith, in a sense the movie's "frame," or at least the character who begins and ends the film and upon occasion serves as its narrator, is still stolidly, monochromatically acted. Most of the time, he appears stonily glum. His boyfriend Paul is so much more animated and emotionally alive and responsive, that one might wonder what he sees in R.J. who responds to him often so coldly.
R.J. is the film's biggest problem. His love for Chris appears almost obsessional, troubled and troubling. His trip to Salt Lake City, what he does there, are disturbing, just a few steps away from his turning into a stalker. It is unclear, at least to me, whether the film itself sees how excessively, and obsessionally, he is behaving, though by the end, in Chris's statement that "he forgives him," one gains a clarity that might have been shown earlier if R.J. had been acted with more subtlety. I am not judging R.J. He does what he does. I am just wondering if his character, the troubling side of it, is sufficiently portrayed, if he couldn't have been made less stiff and more emotionally conflicted, more self aware. He doesn't seem to know how bizarrely he is behaving, as when, just to offer one instance, he insinuates himself into staying overnight at Chris's and his wife's home.
One can say, of course, that he does what he does out of his love for Chris, to free him from his internal crisis by forcing him to admit that he is gay both to himself and to others. Yet his way of doing so at times borders on craziness, the lover in pursuit of his beloved no matter what, the selfish lover in short. Does the film see this? Or is it just me? I don't know.
The complexity I miss in R.J. is, however, much more fully present in Chris. Benjamin Farmer's performance of the character in the sequel is far more interesting than it was in the earlier film. His inner struggle, his suffering, his anger, the ways in which his closetedness endangers his life and lives of others, all these and other emotions are visible at times merely in his eyes. It is sensitive work that carries the film over its rougher moments.
Much of the supporting cast is also good, Chris's wife in particular, and some of the minor characters, like Aaron, another closeted and married former missionary, have scenes that are more convincing and resonant than any moments in the earlier movie. A few of the actors are still weak. R.J.'s father remains insufficiently depicted, for instance. But, since this is largely Chris's movie, it succeeds much more consistently than The Falls.
Of course, this is still a low budget movie, and moments in it betray that fact. The anniversary party looks to have been attended by about ten people, even though it means to fill a large hall. It is clear that much of it was filmed in the same location. There are gaps in the plot's logic that I can't elaborate upon here without giving away too much. The ending feels to me too tacked on, its openness less a gesture toward a more generous future than uncertain about who these two main characters, said to love each other, might be and become. Such uncertainty, one might say, is true to life. Fine. But the ending nonetheless strikes me as abrupt.
Still, like its predecessor, the movie carries with it real conviction. The best of Testament of Love is far better than the earlier film, better acted, much better written, and better shot. It is a stronger movie, serious in ways that far too many low budget gay movies don't aspire to be. Though it is flawed as well, it is even more moving, and what it is concerned with goes much deeper. The movie's religious themes, if often still superficial, nonetheless give it a resonance it would lack without them. But the heart of it doesn't lie in them. That is fortunate, I think. This is not Bresson we are watching, after all. It lies in the relationship between the two men.
At least one person in that relationship must dig deep inside himself to endure, to save himself and to love others, in particular to love a man openly and freely. One might wish at the end, perhaps, that the man he has loved and apparently loves still, R.J., had reached as deeply inside himself as Chris must do, to find himself as clearly (however differently) as Chris has begun to. It's an uneven film, then, yet, despite its small and not so small failures, moving and worth seeing.