Eleven Men Out, the third feature from Icelandic director Róbert I. Douglas, tries very hard to do many things. On one hand, Douglas' film is a semi-serious exploration of how a heterogeneous, male-oriented society reacts when one of its sports heroes announces that he's gay. On the other, though, it's a cheerful, fun Gay Movie, complete with a soccer-playing drag queen and a man in a baby doll tshirt that reads "I DID BECKHAM." On a third hand, Eleven Men Out is just the latest in the long line of stories about gay characters rising above the ignorance of others, in which no one is ever seriously mistreated, and there's very little doubt that the ending will be a happy one.

On yet a fourth hand, however, the movie bears a sneaking similarity to a new wave of films coming out of Eastern Europe (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Something like Happiness, for example), in which the difficulty of life is a fact rather than the point, and characters find their own reasons to keep living. Unfortunately, Douglas only hints around this last element, which is easily the most interesting in his ultimately rather lightweight film.

categories Reviews, Cinematical