Hard Pill (DVD, 2007) * Queer Cinema *

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John Baumgartners provocative new film asks the disturbing and challenging question: if you could take a pill to make you straight, would you? Tim (Jonathan Slavin) is gay, chronically single and desperately lonely. In a last ditch effort to find happiness, he volunteers for a controversial drug study designed to make gay men straight. The drug seems to be working for him and he meets Tanya. They embark on a whirlwind romance and he cuts himself off entirely from his old life. However, soon it becomes clear that the drug is wearing off and he must feign illness to avoid intimacy with Tanya.

This thorny independent movie from writer/director John Baumgartner stars Jonathan Slavin, in a potential star-making tour-de-force performance, as Tim, an unhappy gay man who decides to volunteer for a pharmaceutical study of a pill that's said to turn homosexuals straight. With a gritty, low-budget appeal, thought-provoking subject matter, and occasional doses of humor, HARD PILL examines issues of sexuality, medical ethics, and relationships of all stripes.