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Second Thought

average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Jun 15, 2024

Film Reviews
Second Thought
Directed by:
Jimmy Martin, Chris Stanley
Written by:
Art Bezrukavenko, Chris Stanley
Art Bezrukavenko, Chris Stanley, Brett LaBelle

Released appropriately in Pride month, Second Thought is a short film that explores nuances and intricacies around gay dating culture as it follows two young men around Provincetown in Massachusetts.


Told largely without dialogue and set to music by Conditional and Jon Bjork, the film details potential outcomes of a meetup of Art (Art Bezrukavenko) and Chris (Chris Stanley), two young gay men visiting the Cape Cod seaside town. Finding each other on a hookup app, Art awakens after a night together to walk away from Chris as a one-night-stand. But another future is considered for the pair, one which stretches into a lifetime of happiness.


Second Thought is a heartfelt short that excels in character building. Utilising a split-screen opening in which both men are shown getting ready for their days in almost identical fashion, the desires of each appear to run parallel until the fateful decision of Art to either walkaway or stay after a hookup. Without demonising Art for his choice, the pain to Chris is clear – demonstrating the director’s critique of meaningless casual sex culture and its consequences for those who are looking for something more. Audiences will share Chris’ disappointment, and intrigue of what could have been.


The film is vibrant and optimistic, emphasising the colour of the town and its excitement for young single people and what summer flings offer. Directors Jimmy Martin and Chris Stanley infuse a momentum into the film that matches the short running time and sufficiently tells the men’s story without ever feeling hurried. Touches such as the split-screen during the opening, or realising the messaging app for the pair’s (surprisingly PG) interactions also add to the vibrancy and modernity. The choice of retro VCR-style rewind graphics during a pivotal moment in the film is an interesting one – somewhat out-of-sync with the rest of the presentational style of the film but working well overall.


The film is intriguing in presenting longer-term commitment as preferable to short-term hookups, without deeming Art’s decision to bail on Chris as morally wrong. The message of pride and normalising of what appears to be a clear meaningless sex encounter is in itself a positive and enthusiastic presentation of LGBT culture – one that even a few short years ago would have been highly uncommon. It’s obvious that the emotional resonance of a longer connection is more powerful than a successful shag, But given both guys appear clear with what their meeting is going to lead to in the build-up, there is something of a disconnect that the expected outcome is then presented as a negative. Art’s thoughtless blocking of Chris is however a powerful capturing of how ruthless the culture can be, even after a spark is evident – and may give pause to thought about how such behaviours can impact others.


The youthfulness and enthusiasm of Second Thought is infectious, and its reflections and realisations of gay dating culture presents a healthy critique of behaviours. With lively direction and strong performances, this coin-flip presentation of sex and love is impressive and impressionable.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, LGBTQ+, Short Film
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