Poor Leo – the handsome college student just broke up with girlfriend of six months – due, in large part, to his lackluster sexual expertise. However, Leo begins to wonder whether he was intended for heterosexual pleasures. He begins hunting around the Internet and hooks up with Seba, a Mr. Right-Now who could possibly be Mr. Right if Leo wasn’t so afraid of coming out.
However, a chance reunion with the pretty Caro, a former classmate undergoing a spell of severe depression, makes Leo question his orientation again. But is Leo forcing himself to be interested in Caro out of double-pronged pity – for his own sexual guilt and for the depression that is ruining her life?
This Uruguayan import takes itself a little too seriously, and it is burdened with solemnity that eventually becomes oppressively dull. Plus, the screenplay constantly falls back on clichés – particularly the input from a wise psychologist and a stoner roommate – that only enhances a sense of connect-the-dots. Complicating matters is Martin Rodriguez’s Leo, who spends too much time offering pensive pouting instead of a genuine performance.
To its credit, though, the film offers much more sincerity and maturity than the hopelessly tacky LGBT films being made by too many U.S. indie filmmakers. “El Cuarto de Leo” makes a genuine effort to detail the mixed emotions and sense of isolation that many young gay people feel when they come to terms with their sexual orientation. If the film doesn’t quite hit the mark as a satisfying drama, at least it deserves kudos for making a worthwhile attempt.