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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

The Third **

Starring: Sean McBride, Corey Page, Ryland Shelton, Fatimah Taliah

Director: Matt McClelland

Country: USA

It’s that classic tale of boy-meets-boy, boy-meets-another-boy, all-three-boys-romp-about-together… To be fair, it’s about time someone made a film about the complexities of living in a three-way relationship. It would be great if someone could make that film. Because The Third is decidedly not that film.

Jason (McBride) has fallen in love. Not with a girl. Not with a guy. With TWO guys! (There’s a gag at a florist about this that the film keeps returning to, which is the only genuinely amusing scene in the film.) Carl (Page) and David (Shelton) seem like the perfect hunky couple, but it becomes quickly evident that the arrival of this much younger addition to their home life is serving less to spice things up and more to plaster over the deep cracks in their relationship. But the cracks are deep and permanent.

Originally released as a four part series, you can really tell that it’s not been designed for the big screen. With a weirdly uneven structure that places climaxes just before where the credits would have rolled, it doesn’t really work just to sew together the episodes like this. Although it does mean some of the supporting characters get a lot more airtime, which is great as these are considerably more entertaining than the earnestly drab leads.

Discussion about triad relationships usually focuses around their inequalities – how can you equally love two people exactly the same? How do you not get jealous of each other? The Third doesn’t address either of these questions, opting instead to just show it as a product of a failing two-person relationship. If I was someone in a triad, I think I’d be a little disappointed that this is how I’m being represented on screen. At first, at least it frames itself as being a thriller, but its eventual explanation as to why Jason comes home to smashed bloodied glass on the floor is one of the biggest anticlimaxes I’ve ever seen on screen.


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