‘Sun Kissed’


Sun Kissed opens with a lone, attractive man driving a small truck along a desert highway. He picks up another mildly good-looking man at a bus stop. The two exchange a meaningful glance and a few mumbled salutations, but instead of the bow-chicka-wow-wow of a ’70s porn soundtrack come the dulcet strains of the Sea and Cake. Later, the two men hose each other down while wearing boxer briefs and standing in a kiddie pool to, again, the Sea and Cake. How indie. Directed by Patrick McGuinn (son of the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn!), Sun Kissed is essentially softcore porn with natural lighting and better music. The movie has some semblance of a plot at first: Teddy (John Ort), a budding novelist, is staying at the isolated home of a benefactor to, you know, focus on his writing—but then meets caretaker Leo (Gregory Marcel) and can’t focus on much else. Quickly the plot switches chronologies and settings without explanation, devolving into pseudo-surrealist, poor-man’s–David Lynch nonsense. Some of the questions that emerge include: Is Leo schizophrenic? Did he kill his ex-wife? Did he have an ex-wife? Did he kill Teddy? Is Teddy dead? Who knows, and frankly, who cares? Plot here is tangential. The only joy to be extracted from Sun Kissed is voyeuristic: watching Teddy and Leo’s taut bodies as they frolic in the sun-drenched surf. To music you like.