After reserving their dream wedding package at Niagara Falls, Dean and Darren learn they’ve booked themselves in a run-down motor lodge sandwiched between two chemical plants run by some guy named Shibbawitz and a Burmese refugee family.
Dean (Chris Modrzynski) and Darren (Cole Burden), a gay couple from Phoenix, Arizona, land in Niagra Falls to get married and spend a romantic weekend at the luxurious Rainbow Bridge Motel. The problem is that the Motel is not adjacent to the famous falls. No, this multi-colored bungalow is further inland and situated near a chemical plant and the busy highway.
Shibbawitz (Scott Rubin, who also acts as co-writer and director) is the bumbling, well-meaning proprietor of the Rainbow Bridge. Facing dire straights, he has taken in a Burmese refugee family for money and rebranded his failing hotel to cater to the Queer community. In 2018, this would be considered a shrewd business move. In this film, it is played as edgy and worthy of a few raised eyebrows.
“…a gay couple…land in Niagra Falls to get married and spend a romantic weekend at the luxurious Rainbow Bridge Motel.”
Getting back to the A-Plot; As the more melodramatic Dean screams and flails about how everything is ruined, Darren, the one responsible for arranging the romantic exile, approaches the roadblocks with a stressed resignation. Then the friends and family begin to arrive complete with Darren’s kvetching Jewish mother, who still mourns that her son is marrying a man (Groan). Oh and then let’s throw in the other subplot that Darren still hasn’t finalized his divorce from his ex-wife, nor has he come out to her. What’s more (CLUTCH MY PEARLS!) His ex-wife never knew he was a Gay!
The Rainbow Bridge Motel is a well-meaning, saccharine-sweet rom-com farce that tries desperately to be loved. Think Bagdad Cafe mixed with a little Birdcage but nowhere near as clever and you get the idea. The humor, the taboos, the conflicts, all of them seem outdated. This would have been a charming pic in say, the early 90’s, but now, I mean who cares that a guy is marrying another guy?
“…a zany, love-affirming escapade about a collection of malfunctioning misfits who find their places in the world.”
The performances border on acceptable community theatre level delivery aside from a few standouts. Despite the missteps, Rubin is disarming as the overwhelmed entrepreneur. The real standout is Mel Gorham as Fran. Even still, these solid performances can’t rise above the so-so script.
The Rainbow Bridge Motel has every single intention of being a zany, love-affirming escapade about a collection of malfunctioning misfits who find their places in the world. Yet the comedy is strained and pandering, the characters two-dimensional, and the performances are serviceable at best.
Our advice is to check Yelp before booking a stay at The Rainbow Bridge Motel.
The Rainbow Bridge Motel (2018) Written and directed by Scott Rubin, J. Garrett Vorreuter. Starring Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Diane Gaidry, Josie DiVincenzo, Mel Gorham, Cole Burden, Scott Rubin, Chris Modrzynski, Ruthie Alcaide.
4 out of 10 stars