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Movie Review: Chris & Don: A Love Story

Alternate Title: My Fair Laddie

Story: It seemed appropriate that on the day California acknowledged gay marriage I see a documentary about the 35 year relationship between writer Christopher Isherwood and portrait artist Don Bachardy. Before you click away, you already know Isherwood's work - as it transformed to the big screen, in the form of mega-hit, Cabaret.

Isherwood met Bachardy on a California beach in 1952. Their 30 year age difference did not effect their love (think Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle). Bachardy was only 18 when their relationship bloomed. He was a star struck kid and Isherwood knew just about everyone in Hollywood. It was a match made in heaven that lasted and grew for 35 years. During the years that homosexuals had to hide their life styles, these two lived openly for all to see.

Documentarians Guido Santi and Tina Mascara tenderly carpet this love story. We see the disparate background history of both men and also witness their blossoming love story through terrific file footage and a few talking heads, including Leslie Caron and John Boorman. How could this relationship last? With encouragement and daily support Isherwood saw Bachardy through art school, his first exhibit and eventual success. Their individual gifts allowed these artists to express their love through words and visual art.

If you like love stories, interesting biographies and simply just good film making, go see this small, lovely film.

View the trailer here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=LjG9iyW-vyI

Acting: It is documentary - so it is not applicable.

Predilection: I like documentaries

Critters: Interesting that Isherwood did not want pets because he felt that a home with pets takes love away from the human relationship. Yet, they transform their feelings into animal characters through their correspondence, which is illustrated on the big screen. Isherwood is a horse and Bachardy is a cat.

Food: No food at all.

Sex Spectrum: Alluded to - but not seen.

Blatant Product Placement: None - it s a documentary.

Soundtrack: Lovely

Opening Titles: An opening sequence that situates you into the place you are about to head.

Visual Art: Wonderful portraits by Bachardy.

Theater Audience: A packed house filled with a very West Village crowd at the Quad Cinema. We did note that many of the audience had canes (as did my pal).

Weather: Lovely beach weather.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: 0

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine but supporting a small film like this is always a good idea.

Length: 90 minutes