Bad night out visiting “Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots”

Man standing on dance floor with club lights behind him
Bad Night Out Visiting 'Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots'

“Sometimes we have so many options we forget how good it feels to have only one.”

Two men standing together
A scene from “Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots'”

Guys just want to have fun, or do they? Some guys just want to hook up, while others want to shack up. Subtly and over the course of one evening out on the town, both sides are represented in Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots, an award-winning film created by the team of writer/director Thales Corrêa and co-writer Izzy Palazzini, both of whom also play the two main characters, each representing these two sides of gay dating and relationships.

With a title such as this, one might expect a movie full of cruising in settings such as these—bathroom stalls and parking lots—but once the viewer is invited to tag along bar—and party—hopping through San Francisco with best friends Leo (Corrêa) and Donnie (Izzy Palazzini) and their “straight” friend, Hunter (Oscar Mansky), they quickly lose that first impression.

Brazilian transplant Leo, played by Corrêa, just flew in for the weekend to seek his dating-app crush, in hopes of a long-term relationship. His close friend, Donnie, joins him out on the town with the goal of hooking up with pretty much anyone.

The viewer is swept up in the realistic representation of their night out as the characters naturally communicate in “Portlish,” seamlessly alternating between Portuguese and English. The Portuguese is interpreted by a smattering of subtitles.

Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots DVD cover
DVD cover of “Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots'”

The differences are clear, represented by both the action and the dialogue. Donnie says, “I’m not ready to settle down until I have checked out the best options possible. I have plenty of choices.” To which Leo replies, “Sometimes we have so many options we forget how good it feels to have only one.”

After Donnie and Leo spend the entire night pursuing lust and love, respectively, their evening ends with an unexpected conclusion. With the theme of hooking up vs. shacking up remaining through until the end, is the film making a point? Is seeking a one-night-stand and hoping for a relationship mutually exclusive, bad night out, or compatible?

You’ll have to determine for yourself by spending the night with Donnie and Leo vicariously visiting Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots.

With a world premiere at qFLIX in Philadelphia, Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots won the best feature award at the Independent Filmmakers Film Festival in Los Angeles.