By Eric Campos | September 11, 2003

Michael Akers’ “Gone, But Not Forgotten” is your basic boy meets boy, boys fall in love, but then boy gets a little indifferent about the relationship because he’s still piecing his life together after sustaining amnesia from a tumble he took down a rocky mountain. Following me here? Okay, let me explain.
Forest Ranger Drew rescues uptight urban professional Mark from a fall he takes while “rock climbing.” Those goddamned weekend warriors, right? Upon his awakening at the hospital, it’s discovered that Mark has amnesia. Ranger Drew visits Mark at the hospital to keep the patient without a clue company. A friendship quickly blossoms and Drew ultimately offers to take Mark home with him. Mark accepts because, well, he doesn’t know where else to go. Why not enjoy a little R&R at a house in the forest…next to a raging fire…with the arms of a strong, young forest ranger caressing his body? That’s right, kiddies, Mark and Drew hook it up and they start a forest fire that Smokey himself couldn’t put out. But the love story is cut short as Mark starts remembering more about who he really is.
So, there you go, a love story fit for any couple to snuggle up to…but not fall in love with. And that’s where I had a problem with this film. The key to a great love story is getting your audience to fall in love with the characters, they’ll then fall in love with the idea that these characters found each other and have fallen in love. It’s magic. That magic is missing here, however, and that’s what’s keeping “Gone, But Not Forgotten” from being a great love story. The relationship between Drew and Mark just isn’t quite baked enough for me to buy it. In the end, after all is said and done, I can see that they are in love, but I don’t just want to see it, I want to feel it. And I didn’t.
“Gone, But Not Forgotten” is a valiant effort. Surely there will be something here for young lovers, or just hopeless romantics, to like, but perhaps if the characters and the relationship between them had been baked a little more, Michael Akers would have had a romantic masterpiece on his hands.

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