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Big Eden

A movie directed by Thomas Bezucha

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Big Eden ~ what boys do behind closed doors

  • Jan 20, 2003
Pros: good show

Cons: none

The Bottom Line: ..

This was just a flat out treat. Henry Hart is an artist living in New York about to have his first one man show. The day before he gets a call from back home in Big Eden, Montana, Grandpa Sam has fallen off a roof and needs him at his side. An orphan, Henry had been raised by Grandpa and Grandma, who had already passed. Naturally he doesn’t hesitate to return to Big Eden and all it holds glorious.

A small town, Big Eden revolves around the general store. Owned by an Onandaga Indian, Pike Dexter, the town’s busy bodies gather daily to watch life go by. No, not the delicate ladies of the town but a rag-tag group of men with nothing but deviltry on their mind.

Although Henry is gay, he thinks he is hiding it from everyone, including his Grandpa, but the town is much wiser than Henry gives them credit for. After a failed attempt by the Widow Thayer to ‘fix him up’ with the towns beauties, she turns tables and invites all the town hunks to a soiree, hoping to tempt Henry into a relationship.

Alas, Henry has feelings for a high school pal, Dean, who has also returned to town divorced with two young boys. After holding his feelings inside for over 20 years, Henry decides it is time for he and Dean to solidify their relationship. Naturally the problem being Dean isn’t sure which side of the fence he is sitting on even though he ‘thinks’ he has feelings for Henry as well.

But there is always Pike. Complacent and simple, he goes about his daily duties running his store, looking longingly at Henry. Hoping to woo him, afraid of confrontation, he secretly learns to become a master chef and prepares all the meals for Henry & Sam, saying they come from the Widow Thayer, an abdominal cook. The entire group of rag-tag guys get involved and soon the entire thing is rollercoastering out of control.

But in Big Eden, Montana, life is very serene and all is acceptable. Eventually all cakes end up on the right plate and all the forks face the same way in the drawer.

The filming in this movie was just spectacular. Such incredible scenery filmed on location in Montana at Glacier Nation Park, Kalispell, Swan Lake, Whitefish, Apgar Village and Somers, mountains, lakes, fog, snow, reflected night skies. Just incredibly beautiful.

Although I didn’t personally care for Henry Hart, Arye Gross did a wonderful job of portraying this character at odds with himself and his world. My favorite character was Pike Dexter, played by Eric Schweig, a hulking hunk of a man dedicated to his love for one man. I found Dean, Tim DeKay, somewhat shallow but torn, not knowing what to do with his life.

A wonderful performance by Louise Fletcher as family friend Grace for once didn’t remind me of Nurse Ratchet. Just a poofy marshmallow of a woman in this movie. Nan Martin was a little scary as the Widow Thayer, but it turns out she was part and parcel of this town. George Coe played Grandpa Sammy in a decent portrayal.

Big Eden was nominated and won several awards, which were highly deserved:
Cleveland International Film Festival, Best American Independent Feature Film
Cleveland International Film Festival, Best Film
L.A. Outfest, Audience Award Outstanding Narrative Feature
L. A. Outfest, Grand Jury Award, Oustanding Actor [Eric Schweig]
Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Jury Award, Best Fiction Feature

GLAAD Media Awards, GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Film

This is a fantastic film, good story, good acting, great locations, nothing to fault. Directed and written by Thomas Bezucha.



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More Big Eden (2000 movie) reviews
review by . January 14, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
"BIG EDEN"    Simply Wonderful    Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    Big Eden is a small fictional town somewhere in northwestern Montana in the heart of cowboy and lumber country. Henry Hart, an artist in New York who is successful reruns to Big Eden where he grew up. Once he is back, he must come to terms with his former relationship with Dean Stewart, who was his best friend in high school and the object of his love (although never fulfilled). …
review by . August 22, 2002
I bought this movie on the recommendation of a friend and I'm really pleased that I bought it.First of all, the plot is really unlike any other gay movie I've seen. It's not set in the city (NY, LA, SF etc) and has zero muscleboys in the cast, but it's one of the best-cast and acted movies in a long time.A great date movie, for sure, but also an interesting view into what life could and will be like one day in the not-so-distant future when being gay is just another part of the cultural makeup of …
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About this movie


This "big country" romance involves an emotionally stilted Manhattan artist named Henry (Ayre Gross) who returns to his Montana hometown of Big Eden when his grandfather takes ill. Drama instantly arises as Henry learns the boyhood best friend (Tim DeKay) on whom he's fostered a twenty-year-long unrequited crush, has also returned to Big Eden and is anxious to resume their friendship. Henry also comes into contact with Dexter (Eric Schweig), the Native American proprietor of a local general store. Quiet and withdrawn, Dexter finds himself attracted to Henry but expresses his interest solely through a progressively more elaborate series of home-cooked meals. It is interesting that though they are surrounded with love and support by the liberal locals, these gay men are still blocked from romantic fulfillment by their own doubts and fears. The supporting cast includes residents of Montana's Glacier Park region where the film was shot, and Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NES...
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Director: Thomas Bezucha
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 2001
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Thomas Bezucha
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2002
Runtime: 1hr 59min
Studio: Wolfe Video
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