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By Bobby LePire | September 27, 2019

The first 45-minutes, give or take, of Groupers are superb. The setup is well-executed, the stakes are high, the acting is fantastic, and the story up to this point is intriguing and original. It is tragic to see then the dramatic comedy-thriller devolve into a manic mishmash of ideas that robs those early scenes of pathos and heart.

Groupers begins as two males, and one female leave a bar. The guys get into the back of the lady’s van, only to wake up the next morning tied and bound in an empty swimming pool. Meg (Nicole Dambro), the lady from the bar the other night, asks Dylan (Cameron Duckett) and Brad (Peter Mayer-Klepchick) a question—“Is being gay a choice?”

“…guys get into the back of the lady’s van, only to wake up tied and bound in an empty swimming pool.”

They both answer in the affirmative. Meg then explains the rules about her experimental thesis to the jocks. She will release them when, and if, they can choose each other. Translation—they need to achieve a boner for each other and prove their answers correct.

But, phase two will begin in one hour, and it is not as pleasant as phase one. In the meantime, Meg reads diary entries by Orin (Jesse Pudles), a kid in their high school that Dylan and Brad bullied for being gay. She’s his older sister and is doing this as revenge since Orin is in the hospital after trying to commit suicide.

Groupers (2019)

Directed and Written: Anderson Cowan

Starring: Nicole Dambro, Peter Mayer-Kelpchick, Cameron Duckett, Jesse Pudles, Terrence Wentz, Marqus Bobesich, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

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"…Meg...asks Dylan and Brad a question—'Is being gay a choice?'"

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