The Reel Review


A couple of players on their English gay rugby club’s A and B teams begin an adulterous relationship behind their committed partners’ backs, risking relationships, friendships and even their teams’ futures as they become involved with one another, in this LGBTQ+ romantic sports drama.

Alexander King and Alexander Lincoln in In From the Side

Writer/director Matt Carter’s film is clearly intended to be an epic love letter to his fellow gay rugby players. And while this rare glimpse inside the world of gay rugby is appreciated, the combination of ridiculous, teenage girl melodrama and thinly drawn, unlikable characters make In From the Side a pointless, trivial and colossal bore. Alexander Lincoln and newcomer Alexander King, who resembles a bearded Ryan Gosling, sleepwalk through the montage-heavy story as the star-crossed lovers, but we never really get to know them. Even their sex scenes seem mechanical.

Alexander Lincoln and Alexander King in In From the Side

Besides being its director, co-writer, producer, editor, cinematographer and costume director, Carter also serves as the composer of the film’s tediously overwrought and grandiose score that is more suited for a war movie than this superficial romantic drama. Had Carter sought others to work on his passion project, perhaps he would have gotten the desperate feedback that his way too long story and characters needed major reworking to make them more sympathetic. Technical aspects of the film are surprisingly solid for such a low budget film, but if we don’t care about the players, why watch the game?


In From the Side director Matt Carter

• Matt Carter, who has participated in gay rugby clubs in England for more than a decade, launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2018 to raise money to make the film that he co-wrote with Adam Silver.

• With a budget of $60,000, In From the Side has made just over $52,000 at the box office.

In From the Side star Alexander Lincoln made his television debut playing the villainous Jamie Tate in the 2019 ITV soap Emmerdale.


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