Director: Michael D. Akers
Writers: Michael D. Akers and Sandon Berg
Stars: Leo Minaya, Jack Kesy, Madalyn McKay, and Darra Boyd
Morgan (Leo Minaya) is a cyclist recently paralyzed after a bad accident in a race through Central Park. He’s lost purpose and is leading an aimless life. Though he has a loving mother (Madalyn McKay) and loyal friend Lane (Darra Boyd) who care deeply for him and are there to help him, Morgan cannot motivate. But everything changes one day as he is rolling through the park and meets Dean (Jack Kesy). They have small talk, and Dean asks Morgan if he wants to get together for dinner. As they navigate the early parts of their relationship Morgan gains confidence, and Dean brings out the fun & caring side of him. Soon Morgan is training to run the race that changed his life in their handicap division. But the training is proving too much for him, and Morgan’s doctor advises him not to race. Though everyone in his life who cares for him is saying not to race–including Dean–Morgan wants to continue. Does Morgan jeopardize his health, his relationship with Dean, and possibly his life to gain back a presumed lost dignity? Will his competitive nature overpower his better judgement?
Morgan succeeds or fails as a film entirely on the performance and chemistry of the two principal leads. Thankfully it succeeds. Leo Minaya and Jack Kesy have a natural ease together. Their initial courtship is genuine, and the scenes where they navigate how to be intimate with Morgan’s paralysis is touching. Though Morgan is initially disagreeable character, he is never unlikable–you understand where he is coming from. Minaya does not play him for sympathy, but as a proud man laid low. A man who has to find a way to adjust to his new situation in order to succeed in the important things in life. As for the supporting actors, they are adequate.
The look of the film is beautiful. Chris Brown (cinematographer) did an excellent job lighting the film. It is well shot and the scenes have depth.
Though the story in the end is predictable, Morgan presents a side of gay life not seen before. In a world that sometimes values the superficial over substance, Morgan shows that love can be found if you are willing to take the time to get to know someone instead of judging a book by its cover.
Grade = B-