Summer Storm | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Since the flap over Time's October 10 cover story, gay teenagers have supplanted gay marriage as the moment's hot-button topic, so this sexy, bittersweet romance makes an apt opener for Reeling 2005: The 24th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival. Set at a German sports camp (and packed with scenes of swimsuited young athletes at play), it focuses on a confused Bavarian youth (Robert Stadlober) whose secret love for his best friend comes crashing out of the closet when the boys' rowing team competes with the Queerstrokes, an all-gay crew from Berlin. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, who coauthored the screenplay with Thomas Bahmann, this tender and funny feature benefits from an appealing cast--in particular Stadlober, who brings depth and honesty to what could have been a formulaic coming-out chronicle. In German with subtitles. 98 min. The festival continues through November 12; see next week's issue for more. Thu 11/3, 7:30 PM, Music Box.

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