Finding Me: Truth is the sequel to 2009's Finding Me, written and directed by Roger S. Omeus Jr. The movie is in a lot of ways similar in tone to a Tyler Perry film but more inclusive of sex positive, gay male characters. In many ways, it also fills the void left by the TV series Noah's Arc.
The movie follows Faybien Allen, a young African-American, living in Jersey City, who's aspiring to work in the music industry. Faybien's life is slightly diverted or maybe re-focused when his ex-boyfriend returns a year after they broke up.
His ex-boyfriend is Lonnie Wilson who's only in town for a few days on business. Despite being in a relationship, Lonnie agrees to go out for dinner with Faybien. Lonnie has conflicting feelings about whether or not he wants to be with Faybien again. The sexual attraction though is obvious.
Meanwhile, Faybien's best friend, Greg Marsh is currently sexually attracted to two people at once, a man named Reggie Hunt and a woman named Tammy Jones. Not only that, he's actually having sex with both, not at once, but you get the idea. Neither Reggie nor Tammy know about each other and Greg has to lie and juggle both, which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Reggie, a pre-med student, wants a more monogamous relationship.
Another slight complication is that Tammy is the cousin of Greg and Faybien's other best friend, Amera, a singer in the middle of releasing her debut EP. Amera is a diva and Tammy is her closest relative as well as her make-up artist. Amera is easily angered and easily jumps into loud, sassy mode about stuff she doesn't like, especially when it comes to a man having sex with multiple people. With little to no evidence, she easily suspects her current boyfriend, Gabe Morris, is having sex with multiple people and this drives her literally crazy, so Greg keeps his exploits with Amera's cousin to himself.
The final wrinkle is Greg's roommate, Jay Timber, who can't help but antagonize everyone and who also can't help but involve himself with a thug and possible drug dealer named Omar. It's unclear how much Jay and Omar are using each other. Jay may be using Omar for his money and Omar may be using Jay just for sex.
Comparisons to Noah's Arc are obvious on a surface level. Omeus' script feels very much episodic. The first episode is the reunion of Faybien and Lonnie. If you didn't see the first movie, then you don't know the way things ended between the two, but trust that it was bad. Whereas before Lonnie was pursuing Faybien, now Faybien is literally running after Lonnie, running at break neck speed to meet Lonnie at places like the local coffee shop.
As abrupt as it is, the next episode involves Faybien letting go of the love of his life and living more as a party boy, a wild, single existence where he drinks and dances all night and who hooks up with random guys on the club floor. It may be detrimental to his well-being but it's a helpful distraction for him.
Episodes with Faybien's circle of friends is also distracting and seemingly disparate, but they're all connected through the idea of identity. The characters in a way have their identities challenged through the relationships in which they're engaged and it's up to them either to stay true to who they are or risk losing their identities and doing something that's not them. Through it all, it's also about recognizing true love when you have it.
RayMartell Moore plays Faybien as a boy who is just smitten and head-over-heels in love with Lonnie. He's spirited and a hopeless romantic who writes letters by hand in lieu of emails. Derrick L. Briggs plays Lonnie as less of a romantic and more cautious and hesitant to wear his heart on his sleeve or jump in with both feet.
Moore takes on his character with passion and a naiveté that's mostly sweet and charming. His Faybien is clearly sprung. Briggs gives the best performance here as a man who's clearly anxious. His Lonnie is scared of being heartbroken.
Eugene E. Turner plays Greg who is like an anchor or the glue of these friendships. J'Nara Corbin who plays Amera is a scene stealer. All the gay men combined in this movie don't come close to how flamboyant she is. She's like Tasha Smith, the actress from the Tyler Perry movies. Corbin is hilarious, and she gets great bits of dialogue that are laugh-out-loud funny. Credit either goes to Omeus or Corbin for Amera's crazy one-liners.
Special credit also goes to Maurice Murrell who played Jay Timber. Murrell recently died. Murrell was an actor and model who had a lot of potential. His character here of Jay Timber was fierce and in this movie you could tell that fierceness came out of a slight desperation. Murrell's character could have been written off as just the villain or the bitch of this story, but I think Murrell showed there was more in him.
Omeus certainly improves from his previous effort. However, like before, he crafts a piece that is more than just entertaining. It serves a very under served community of African-Americans. It's fun and funny, a finger-snapping, dulcetly down-low, romantic comedy.
Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but Recommended for Mature Audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 40 mins.