- Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014
Indie Film Boldly Addresses Gay Mid-Life Crisis
Mel England Stars in “Best Day Ever”
Production is complete on the indie film, "Best Day Ever," which boldly addresses gay mid-life crisis and stars Mel England. Directed by Jeff London (“A Warm Wind”), and Executive Produced by Paul Burchett, "Best Day Ever" is a semi-autobiographical gay romantic drama based on true events from his own life, and co-stars Tom Saporito. England portrays David, a gay independent filmmaker facing a mid-life crisis. “This movie deals with it head on. David is in a real identity crisis," says Filmmaker London.
“This film is so relevant for a lot of gay men who, frankly, didn't expect to make it past 30!” says England. Indeed, an entire generation of gay men -- the "Gen X Gays" -- are now facing a new frontier: mid-life. For the better part of 50 years, the gay community was consumed with surviving the AIDS crisis, Stonewall and the struggle for LGBT rights. “Our mentors were so busy with the fight for equal rights, and just to stay alive, that there’s not really a map for us on how to do this part,” England observes, "We get to be equal – and get old! So we’re pioneers, in a way.”
Certainly, mid-life can be devastating for any man, gay or straight, with questions about achievement, status, and financial security. However, for gay men, mid-life also includes problems that stereotypically, rightly or wrongly, have been considered to be a woman's. A great deal of value is placed on sexual attractiveness and "looks" in gay culture, therefore gay men, perhaps to a greater degree than their straight counterparts, face fears of aging and changing body types -- the never-ending need to be desired. "How much money do I have - or not? Who am I? Did I prove myself? What happened to my abs?! Am I still sexy?” asks England.
“Jeff's script is powerful, because it's painfully honest and personal,” says England. “It's a journey of self-acceptance and just getting over yourself -- getting out of your own way to finally be happy." Along with relationship issues and career problems, David realizes that he literally only has about 35 years left and must figure out his "life-plan." He meets a man 14-years younger than him, Shane (Saporito), who shows him that age does not matter, and that maybe his future happiness is easier to figure out than he thinks.
“Best Day Ever” is a Radioactive Cactus and Hemet Productions film and is scheduled for release in May 2014. Burchett most recently produced the Off Broadway premiere of “The Road to Qatar.” London is a prolific director of gay-themed movies, which have been distributed through Wolf Video and internationally through TCL. London has developed an international following for his unique genre, focusing on the lives of rural, small town gay men. London is a winner of Best Drama Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
England, known on both stage and screen, most recently starred in the title role in “Ron and Laura Take Back America” to be released in 2014 and which co-stars include Golden Globe Best Actress Nominee Irene Bedard (known for Spielberg's "Into the West", and as the voice and likeness of Pocahontas in the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature) and Jim J. Bullock ("Hollywood Squares" distributed by Orion Pictures, and more recently CBS' “The Bold and the Beautiful"). “It's great to have two films out in 2014,” says England. “And Jeff is one of the most respected directors in the gay independent film genre, so to be in his film is such an honor!” In 2013 “Little Big Top” (Morningstar Entertainment) in which England co-starred, became one of the more popular films streaming on Netflix, surviving the distributor’s well publicized title purge earlier in the year (The Hollywood Reporter). The film starred the legendary Sid Haig, of Rob Zombie projects including “The Devil’s Rejects” (Lions Gate). Later this year, England is set to co-star in “Love Anonymous” with Sally Kirkland, Academy Award Best Actress Nominee and Golden Globe winner for “Anna” (Lions Gate).
"Best Day Ever" co-star Tom Saporito’s recent work includes the play "Delusion" produced/co-directed by Neil Patrick Harris, star of the CBS hit series “How I Met Your Mother” and host of the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Tony Awards. He also stars as Felix on the CW Television Network "Off Campus.”
Supporting cast members include Peter Stickles, Nate Moore and Ace Lundon. Stickles, currently starring in Here! TV’s “The Lair” (distributed world-wide by here! Films), also starred in the critically acclaimed “Shortbus” that was written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (“Hedwig & the Angry Inch, HBO’s “Girls” - an Apatow Production). “Shortbus” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and earned its producers an Independent Spirit award for Producers of the Year. Moore’s credits include the Kate Hudson and Casey Affleck feature “Desert Blue” (Ignite Entertainment/Samuel Goldman Company/Columbia Tri-Star project). Lundon has had a prolific career, including the entertainment industry. In the 60s he was the personal manager and publicist for Jayne Mansfield, a 20th Century Fox contract player and mother of Mariska Hargitay (NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU”). He also represented Mahalia Jackson, Grammy winning gospel singer, whose biography “Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel” is being adapted for a feature film starring Fantasia Barrino (The Color Purple,” American Idol). Lundon’s character in the film is loosely based on his life as an early LGBT rights and AIDS activist in pre- and post-Stonewall Hollywood, a story he chronicled in his auto-biography “The Closets are Empty… the Dining Room’s Full” (Ponderosa Publishing).
About MEL ENGLAND
Mel England has starred on Screen and Stage, Off Broadway, internationally and across the USA. His features include "Archeology of a Woman" (Winner, Cine Golden Eagle Award and Golden Remi Award, World Fest Houston), and a starring role in 2012's "Persona Au Gratin," winner of Best Comedy at IndieFest USA. England also starred in "Highlights," Best Drama Nominee, in the Moviefone Short Film Festival. On Stage, England has performed Off Broadway, regionally and internationally in Europe. England's solo show "Swimming with the Polar Bears" premiered Off Broadway, and as part of a benefit for The Climate Project, featuring posters of the show signed by former Vice President Al Gore, which then toured world-wide, in Los Angeles, the National Mall in Washington DC for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. England's solo show "Navajo Memoirs" was dubbed "Ingenious" by Backstage. Other Off Broadway credits include "Hecuba", "Marriage" and "The Imaginary Invalid" with the Pearl Theatre. England also starred in the New York and Los Angeles premieres of Israel Horovitz's one-man play about September 11th, "3 Weeks After Paradise," benefiting children of WTC victims. Notable productions include "Lucky Man" (Best Acting Ensemble Award, NY Fringe), "A Shayna Maidel" (Best Play of the Year, Denver), and he was a proud part of the original New York productions of Chris Sanderson's "Midsummer Night's Dream", "Sea Monkeys" by Tony Nominee Chad Beguelin, "The Honeysuckles" (developed for television by FOX), and "King of Connecticut" with Phillip Seymour Hoffman.