Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2001. Fluff and Fold LLC. Screenplay by Wash Westmoreland. Cinematography by Mark Putnam. Produced by Victoria Robinson, John Sylla. Music by John Vaughn, Micko Westmoreland. Production Design by Devorah Herbert. Costume Design by Gitte Meldgaard. Film Editing by John Binninger. Toronto International Film Festival 2001. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
Sean (Michael Cunio), recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a cinematographer in Hollywood, finds himself obsessed with a gay porn star named Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney) when he accidentally rents a movie called Citizen Cum in place of the Orson Welles classic. He applies for a job at the studio where Rebel works, getting a gig as cameraman but, through contact with the object of his affection, ends up being his fluffer (this is the person who orally helps out men in adult films when they can’t…um…stiffen their resolve). At first he thinks that being this close to such a fantasy man is a dream come true, but in getting to know Johnny and in having such an impersonal sexual relationship with him, Sean finds himself getting lonelier and more disaffected as time progresses. It also doesn’t help that Johnny Rebel is really straight and lives with his stripper girlfriend (Roxanne Day). It’s a pretty honest look into the gay porn industry, especially considering co-director Wash West researched the film by making adult films for a few years (even winning awards for them), thus lending it a huge air of credibility (the film also uses countless cameos from real adult film stars and directors including the fabulous Chi Chi La Rue). No matter how much more believable than Boogie Nights it is, though, it’s never more than mildly boring. The two main characters are hardly sympathetic, and even when the story tries to throw in a bit of a caper in its last fifteen minutes it can’t manage to muster up any useful energy. As is often the case with this genre, the most endearing characters in a comedy-drama aimed at gay men are women (Day, and Adina Porter as a studio employee), plus it has an excellent cameo by Deborah Harry, who really should do more movies.