Films: Surrogate Valentine

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Surrogate Valentine

Surrogate Valentine

USA, 2011, 75 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Comedy, Music, Romance
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, New Directors Showcase
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Dave Boyle
Producer: Duane Anderson, Dave Boyle
Editor: Dave Boyle, Duane Andersen, Michael Lerman
Screenwriter: Dave Boyle, Joel Clark, Goh Nakamura, Michael Lerman
Cinematographer: Bill Otto
Principal Cast: Goh Nakamura, Lynn Chen, Chadd Stoops

Goh Nakamura is a small-time San Fransisco musician whose only current prospect for making ends meet comes in the form of Danny Turner (Chadd Stoops), an actor in need of guitar lessons. Though not exactly an enthusiastic teacher—as quiet and introspective as his student is gregarious—Goh takes Danny along on a road tour; at once the stage is set for a comedic adventure.

Highly enthusiastic about the role for which he’s preparing, Danny studies, imitates, and comments on Goh’s every word and gesture. For his own part, Goh—who is thoroughly annoyed at the outset—comes to appreciate Danny’s sincerity and passion. Besides, Goh sees an opportunity for Danny to help him win over Rachel (Lynn Chen), a lifelong love whom Goh has met again by chance at a show in Los Angeles. But even with Danny’s help, it is Goh who ultimately has to overcome his own shyness and inertia in order to woo the woman of his dreams.

Playing himself, first-time actor Nakamura—who cowrote the screenplay with director Dave Boyle—more than holds his own among a cast of professional actors. The multitalented Nakamura also wrote and recorded the film’s soundtrack. Beautifully shot in crisp black-and-white, Surrogate Valentine is a warm, funny, and ultimately stirring story about a man with much to face and little to lose.
—MARK MAÑAGO

Sponsored by Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado


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