Pit Stop - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pit Stop Reviews

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½ July 5, 2016
I gave this little gem a 4.5 star rating a couple years ago, but never reviewed it; after watching it again the other night, I want to rectify that, as I believe it still should find an audience. If one was being simplistic and flip--though accurate--this movie could be described as "Brokeback Mountain" meets "Sleepless In Seattle." Texan Gabe is a single dad with a polite and compassionate--yet still emotionally raw--relationship with his ex-wife; he's also still hung up on a former male lover who's moved to another state and has brushed him aside. Across town, Ernesto is dealing with a fizzled relationship via an ex that won't move out; he also regularly visits his lost great love, who's been incapacitated by a car accident. Both men, clearly, have issues, have been deeply hurt, are kind and giving (they both also have pets) but are very lonely. Gabe makes a half-hearted attempt to date his daughter's teacher, but they're too different to click; Gabe's ex-wife tries to go on a disastrous date with a co-worker; Ernesto tries to reach out to his partner's estranged sister. All the characters reach, fumblingly, towards happiness, and we ache for them as they try to forge connections in this faceless small Texas town. Throughout it all, Gabe and Ernesto keep just missing each other at the local fuel station, creating a sense of quiet tension in the viewer: will these two fundamentally kind, decent, gentle, good men ever find each other? Yes, like "Brokeback," the pace is deliberate--sometimes close to slow (though it does indeed convey life in a small, semi-rural Texas town), and the cross-cutting between the stories is very, very deliberate in its build. But the ending--ah! the ending. Arguably not since "Big Eden" "Shelter" or "Latter Days" has a gay-themed film had a more quietly lovely and fulfilling tie-off. Don't watch this one alone; watch it with someone you like, or love.
½ October 5, 2015
ugly, boring, bad acting, pointless movie. so not worth the time. Run away. Everyone involved in this movie should be ashamed.
½ September 22, 2015
this gay drama creeps n crawls along very slowly ending
½ December 19, 2014
This is a surprising little gem of a film, one that lingers in the moments of heartbreak and discovery that end up being the moments when life shifts in a new direction. It is this lingering - which can often be misjudged as slow or lacking in mindful pacing - that makes this film excellent. Films so often start at the beginning of a relationship, but this one focuses on the difficult experiences before a relationship begins that influence how exciting it is to meet someone new and to fall in love. Genuinely good performances make you care about the characters and hope that love will revisit them again.
½ November 16, 2014
Wonderfully acted. Every moment counts, every character is treated sympathetically, no matter how unglamorous, and comes alive. I watched this on the same weekend as the German Free Fall - also a good movie about lonely gay men, but this difference really stuck out - Pit Stop's interest and sympathy in everyone in the movie, as opposed to the tunnel vision on Marc in Free Fall. This took nothing away from our desire for Ernesto and Gabe to meet, to break through their isolation, and the ending was understated but intensely moving. Why no big time reviews?
½ August 30, 2014
Although it falls on the same problem of other gay movies, slowness, it's characters are realistic and the sexual content is real enough to make you believe these guys are actually gay but never taky or vulgar. It also shows another side of "straight acting gays", the ones that do it to stay out of trouble, out of the spotlight and to keep a job.
July 7, 2014
Just boring. You don't hate the characters but there's no real development to have you care. Even at an hour and 20 minutes it seemed to go on forever. The two main characters don't even get together till right at the end and by that time you don't care.
June 14, 2014
Nice quiet and charming slice of life where not a lot happens and yet you still get involved. It doesn't try to hard and is all the better for it!!
½ April 19, 2014
Incredibly dull drama following two gay men in smalltown Texas as they pick up the pieces after their respective relationships have fallen apart.
This is 20 minute short stretched out to an hour and twenty.
Frightfully boring. Don't bother.
½ March 23, 2014
Pit Stop is a character-driven piece that, unlike Ciao, explores its characters in their vulnerable moments in great depth rather than the intimacy developing between the two main characters. Audiences expecting to see a tense, intimate romance film that Ciao was will be disappointed, but there is plenty here to enjoy as well, such as the overall great performances from the underrated cast and the interesting portrayal of unique characters.
March 22, 2014
I did not want this film, this story to stop. I wanted to see more of Gabe and Ernie together. But we know what will follow. These two, after hits and misses, have found life partners. Entirely believable. Not one false note.
March 16, 2014
There is a prominent, fruitful subgenre among drama films- especially American indies- that depict the hidden life of people living in small towns or the idyllic suburbia. These films tend to take their drama from a story arc where the characters' social selves get torn apart by their private selves. They unmask each other and themselves and take down the facade of pretense they've been holding onto. The dramatic climax tends to be one of liberation, sometimes tragic but usually cathartic. "Pit Stop" stems from these sorts of flicks, but it's here to show us what happens after the catharsis. How is it when one is left to deal with the consequences of deciding to live honestly, against accepted norms.

In two main protagonists are two men, Gabe (Bill Heck) and Ernesto (Marcus DeAnda), who live in a tiny Texan town. Both are (barely) out gay men recovering from past relationships.

Gabe used to be a married man who fell in love with another and ultimately lost him. He now lives with his ex-wife Shannon (Amy Seimetz) and their daughter. Both are lonely and trying to find a new life to build, slightly jealous of each other but ultimately supportive; melodrama is all in the past, hurt feelings privately processed and replaced by love of the platonic kind.

Ernesto has recently broken up with Luis (Alfredo Maduro), a younger man who also still lives with his ex-partner. Their situation is still fresh and volatile; Ernesto feels responsible for Luis, who is passive in moving on. Ernesto is also haunted by an older and deeper former love who lies in a hospital, comatose.

We follow Gabe and Ernesto lead lonely, deeply melancholic lives. Their existence is one of stagnation, but this subtle, very quiet movie is anything but boring. There is genuine emotion, intellectual analysis and warmth in the different character interactions that makes the film feel exceptionally real. Somehow in its low key approach "Pit Stop" is intense, Yen Tan's direction as close to the characters as you can get. The actors all shine, bringing additional depth to perfectly scripted scenes of nuanced dialog.

There are too many movies about two people gravitating towards each other, but "Pit Stop" is so much more than that. The predictable fact that Gabe and Ernesto ultimately meet in the end is nothing like in "Sleepless in Seattle". The men find comfort in each other's arms- at least momentarily- but this is not a magical romantic solution to their melancholy. Loneliness saturates their existence, yes, but their sadness runs deeper. Gabe is a construction worker, Ernesto is a clerk in a hardware store; they are barely pulling through. The silent vastness of Texas echoes their state, the community's insistence on discreetness oppresses them. In a way the film exists more in the characters' rich past than it does in their present condition, let alone their supposed future. But "Pit Stop" isn't a hopeless movie, on the contrary. The characters' strength is as apparent as their plight.

Here we have a model example of a movie where not a lot is apparently going on but that engrosses you completely. It's an emotional, thought provoking experience that pulls you in from the very start and makes you live the lives of the characters with them. Yen Tan doesn't use any gimmicks on the directing side either, but the scenes and their common aesthetics are absolutely beautiful in their very homeliness. Here's drama at its most honest, moving, contemplative and wise.
March 11, 2014
Sometimes the slower it goes, the more romantic it seems

Slow story.. Messy editing.. but will overwhelm you with its depth and nice performances. With two very remarkable scenes, One when Ernesto talks to his leaving boyfriend, and the other is the last romantic great scene.
March 10, 2014
What a great film about small town life.
February 26, 2014
Emotionally raw, unrelentingly honest, and dramatically feasible, here's a terrifically acted pitch perfect small-scale indie film.
½ February 19, 2014
"I may be liberal and all, but that alone doesn't make a movie about gays good." - Rodd Whelpley
February 6, 2014
'Pit Stop' is a low key drama and does a great job structuring the film to emphasize parallels, and even though the relationships we see are so different in films. In Pit Stop, loneliness and love span age, orientation, skin color, and class. Again, none of this is fleshed out enough to make a lasting impact, but on a purely formal level, it's impressive what Tan is able to bring out of such an underwritten story. It's just a shame that in the end, things come together so haphazardly.
½ February 6, 2014
Excellent film with a realistic portrayal of life.
½ February 2, 2014
I kinda liked the vibes in Yen Tan's last piece- CIAO. But I have to say I wasn't even feeling patient of watching this one.
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