The Reel Review
Ryan, a profoundly lonely 30-year-old Toronto man stuck in a monotonous rut of a lifestyle, is forced to face his long-repressed sexuality after a string of circumstances leads to an unlikely relationship with his gay friend’s boyfriend. Joel Ballenger and Al Braatz star in this LGBTQ+ romantic drama.
That is All is a nuanced character study of a closeted gay man, that despite its very slow action, still draws you in with its realism, making you feel like a fly on the wall as Ryan’s seemingly carefree, unconcerned façade slowly comes down. Prior to meeting Sam, Ryan’s life consisted of secret gay webcam sex and occasional hookups with women. We gradually see that Ryan actually does care about what his friends think – enough to cut bait from his new relationship at the slightest chance of them getting caught.
Canadian writer/director Mark Weeden lets his story breathe, sometimes a little too much, with some really drawn out pauses in the action, and some frustrating audio production issues. Still, That is All is a thought provoking and heartbreaking look at the unnecessary misery an individual can inflict on himself, and those around him, by lacking the courage to be true to himself.
• That is All writer/director Mark Weeden and stars Joel Ballenger and Carly Fawcett also worked together on 2018’s Only People, about two friends who set aside their current relationships for a weekend to explore what could have been between them.
• Actor Joel Ballenger says Mark Weeden wrote the screenplay for That is All specifically for him as an exploration of how his own religious upbringing affected his sexuality.
• Mark Weeden won the Best Writing award for That is All at the 2020 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival.