Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love brings together two men who aren't sure where to fit a relationship into their lives in this romantic drama. Living in the oceanfront working-class community of San Pedro, Zach (Trevor Wright) is a young man in his early twenties who has been forced into the role of emotional anchor for his dysfunctional family; his mother his dead, his father is too ill to work, his sister Jeannie (Tina Holmes) is too busy partying to look after her five-year-old son Cody (Jackson Wurth), and Zach is the only one with the wherewithal to hold down a job and keep the rent paid. He's sacrificed his dream of attending CalArts in order to help Jeannie raise Cody. Between cooking at a diner and looking after Cody, Zach has little in the way of spare time, but as often as he can he heads to the beach to indulge his passion for surfing. While hanging out with his surfing buddy Gabe (Ross Thomas), Zach meets Gabe's brother, the struggling homosexual writer Shaun (Brad Rowe), who has taken a break from Tinseltown while rebounding from a dysfunctional relationship. Shaun goes surfing with Zach one day, and the two discover they're powerfully attracted to one another, and a flirtation turns into a love affair. As Shaun has to explain to his girlfriend why he no longer wants to be with her, Zach tries to make Jeannie and his father understand why he's come out of the closet. Shelter was produced for the gay and lesbian-oriented cable television network Here, though it enjoyed a brief theatrical release before its broadcast premiere.