Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Looking to get laid? This flick’s for you

Soccer film disappoints

Does it really matter that Icelandic writer-director Robert Douglas’ Eleven Men Out is a disappointing mess of a movie?

There are two types of gay non-porn movies out there: good movies that entertain and move people, and the crap gays rent so we have a pretext to invite our fuck buddies over.

When it comes to the latter, you don’t want something too engrossing, lest you forget to turn off the movie and have sex instead 15 minutes in. A dreary plot and some cheap skin shots in the first reel to get your partner in the mood are all you need.

By that count, Eleven Men Out is a rip-roaring success. It’s disappointing to say that’s the film’s only virtue because it really ought to be quite good.

The premise is that unspeakably sexy rising soccer star Ottar Thor (Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson) decides to come out to the local media and is promptly thrown off his team by homophobic management, including his own father. He ends up joining a gay-friendly team, which quickly rises in league ranks. Meanwhile, his coming out causes all sorts of trouble for his family, especially his drunk ex-wife and their 13-year-old son.

The plot seems to dictate a very traditional sports-underdog film crossed with a coming-out story, but Douglas’ script and direction undercut the formula at every turn — and not in a good way.

We’re never given any reason to root for Ottar, who’s grossly negligent as a parent, overbearing as a boyfriend, and who comes off as a media whore. Nor do we get to root for the gay team, since the only reason it starts to rise in the ranks is because all other teams refuse to play them, which results in a soccer movie without any soccer on-screen.

I could go on about incompetent cinematography, inscrutable acting, clichéd dialogue, and more, but does it really matter? This movie doesn’t aspire to be watched for more than 15 minutes.