Queerly Ever After is a bi-monthly column where I take a look at LGBT+ films that gave their characters a romantic happily-ever-after. There will be spoilers.
In Steam Room Stories: The Movie! Sally Fay (Traci Lords) is the owner of a formerly thriving cosmetics company, and she will do whatever it takes to get back on top. Her current plan involves finding the fountain of youth and commoditizing it. After tracking the alleged fountain down to a steam room in West Hollywood, she sets a plan in motion to buy the steam room out from under the man who owns it.
However, the young men who habitually visit the steam room have another idea. They decide they are going to raise the money to save it. To ensure this does not happen, Sally sends her assistant, Neil (Eric D’Agostino) to infiate the steam room and keep her apprised of the men’s plans. Of course, Neil ends up falling in love with one of the steam room’s denizens, Wade (Jacob Buckenmyer), and finds himself torn between loyalty to his boss and loyalty to his new friends, and his heart.
Steam Room Stories: The Movie! was written and directed by J.C. Calciano (who will have several other movies appear in this column, this one actually being one of his best), and based on his web series of the same name. Since this column deals specifically with movies, I will not be looking at, or considering the web series at all. This is a movie in the same vein as American Pie, or Another Gay Movie, but it’s more wholesome than it is crass. Don’t get me wrong, it still has oodles of sex jokes and sexual hijinks, but it manages to stay positive.
One big plus is that it manages to incorporate sexual hijinks, without ever becoming illegal or non-consensual, a major issue that American Pie and Another Gay Movie completely fell into. Is it a great movie? No, but it’s enjoyable and stupid, so who cares how great it is?
The Fountain of Youth
Of course, in the end, the steam room is saved and Neil and Wade end up happily together. But there is a big reveal in this movie. As it would turn out, the steam room really does hold the fountain of youth. After Sally drinks the water from the steam room, she wakes up looking decades younger than she really is. The effects of the water however, only last for 24 hours, or something like that, and without any more of the water, she goes back to her normal self.
And as it turns out, all the men also know the secret of the steam room. In fact, as Wade reveals to Neil, many of the men are much older than they appear. I just have to say, making the steam room actually hold the fountain of youth, while a cute little, also opens up a can of worms. For starters, how old are these guys really? Why do they still act so young if they’ve been around for so long? Why doesn’t the man who owns the steam room look as young as everyone else? If the water only lasts 24 hours, how do they go on vacation? Is this water literally keeping some of these men alive? Am I massively overthinking a dumb movie?
Not Just Gay
The place where this movie really shines is in the makeup of the men who inhabit the steam room. This group of five men: Wade, Beau (Paris Dylan), Balton (Chris Boudreaux), Ryan (Isaiah Lucas), and Tad (Forrest Kiyoshi Hoffman), are all best friends. They look out for each other, discuss their romantic and sex lives, and generally support one another.
While most gay-themed movies would have made this a group of entirely gay men, in this movie, the men are of all different sexual orientations. While Wade is gay, Beau is straight, and the other guys seem to fall somewhere along the spectrum of bisexuality. And that’s actually quite refreshing to see.
Steam Room Stories: The Movie! In Conclusion
Steam Room Stories: The Movie! is good, dumb, fun. Sometimes, that’s just what you need.
Steam Room Stories: The Movie! is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, iTunes, Youtube and Vudu.
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