200 American (2003)

RICHARD LeMAY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  0

USA, 2003.  Wolfe Video, 3rd Day Productions.  Screenplay by Richard LeMay.  Produced by Richard LeMay.  Music by F.L. Jones.  Film Editing by Richard LeMay.  Podcast:  Bad Gay Movies.  

Giving the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold tale a male spin doesn’t make it any less familiar. In fact, in no particular way does it ever get much more painful than this less-than-zero budget, straight-to-video indie flick, which will only have marginal appeal to a gay audience (and even then will still require a lot of forbearance to sit through). Conrad, a wealthy advertising executive, deals with the loneliness of a recent break-up by ordering a hustler from a magazine advertisement and making him a regular indulgence. Getting to know his pet a little bit better, he discovers that ‘Tyler” is actually Ian, an Australian ex-pat who wants to become a photographer but needs money to pay for a sham wedding in order to stay in the country and become legal. Conrad decides to give the guy a break and hire him on his latest modelling shoot as an assistant to a big-time photographer, but things get complicated as Ian catches the eye of another man and still has to perform his duties for Conrad. The familiar story, which is basically a gay Pretty Woman (and tries to excuse this by mentioning that film) would be more enjoyable if the film didn’t have atrocious dialogue, grammar school-level acting, cheap-looking sets (all shot on what looks like VHS video) and virtually non-existent direction. You could blame the low budget, but even the most inexperienced actor knows better than to perform a monologue on the telephone without taking a moment to pretend that someone else on the other end of the line is responding.

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