An ambitious epic romance that traces the course of two men through their initial meeting as teenagers in 1973 until the mid 80’s. Alan is a member of the Young Republicans and an aspiring journalist. He’s working on a book about the evils of homosexuality, and invites Tommy, a gay rights activist, over for dinner and to interview him for the book. Thus begins a friendship that leads to a love affair told against the background of Anita Bryant, radical politics and the emerging gay rights movement. A huge audience hit during its festival and National Theatrical release, THE TRIP is a funny, touching and powerful film.
Miles Swan's romantic comedy The Trip spans 11 years, charting the lives of two men through the Gay Rights movement of the '70s, the conservative backlash of the Reagan-era, and through the AIDS epidemic. Straight, Young Republican author Alan (played by Larry Sullivan) meets Tommy (Steve Braun), a Gay Rights activist, while Alan is completing his anti-gay book. Falling in love with Tommy, Alan tries to avoid publishing "The Straight Truth," but an alleged friend of Alan's underhandedly sabotages him by not only publishing it but also securing for it a place on the bestseller list. As a converted gay man, this enrages Alan and also ruins Tommy's credit as an activist, thereby breaking them up for several years during the '80s. Finally, the two do reunite to pledge their eternal love, though under tragic circumstances. Relevant gay rights news footage, from Stonewall for example, historically sets each segment in the film, making the movie more realistic and educational. Alan and Tommy's plight to fight for the acceptance of homosexuality takes on metaphorical significance, while other characters in the film, like Tommy's best friend, Michael (Alexis Arquette), and Alan's mother (Jill St. John), bring the narrative humor specific to The Trip back into focus. At times, the movie verges on corny, but for the most part avoids cliché. The satisfaction one gets from watching a deep relationship unfold over the years makes this coming-of-age tale a meaningful reminder that there is absolutely no justification for keeping any couples in love apart. --Trinie Dalton