Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 2004. Shallow Pictures LLC. Screenplay by Ryan Shiraki, Lecia Rosenthal. Cinematography by Wolfgang Held. Produced by Stanley F. Buchthal, Jeffrey H. Campagna, Rebecca Chaiklin, Dolly Hall. Music by Mark Garcia. Production Design by Doug Hall. Costume Design by Doug Hall. Film Editing by Pamela Scott Arnold, Trevor Ristow, Zak Tucker. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
Henry (Matt Newton) is the son of a conservative senator and is living in the closet, catting around with other men in his private life while his brutish father Jack Kray (Michael Lerner) tells the country that he espouses good old fashioned family values. At home, Kray pushes around his southern belle wife Eunice (Karen Allen) and dominates over Henry, while Eunice has one of her husband’s staff members keep tabs on the young man, which leads to blackmail when he discovers Henry’s secret. Jack Noseworthy plays Anthony, a handsome young singleton who goes to a party with his best friend Izzy (Valerie Geffner) where he meets Henry and they begin a hesitant relationship that is threatened by the fear of being exposed to the outside world. Izzy, meanwhile, is hit by the Senator’s car and is brought into a friendship with his wife, their circumstances all coming to a head at a key press conference that leads to an explosive climax. Very little of this film makes dramatic sense and very little of it is watchable thanks to low-budget digital cinematography. Characters conflict with each other a great deal but, as it is never clear what the film’s actual narrative is (including the framing device of flashback narration whose purpose is never revealed) it feels not like an ensemble drama but more like a movie that can’t decide which character it’s actually about. A host of talented actors do their best to make sense of the ridiculous situations they find themselves in, in the case of Allen doing far better work than the film deserves, but it’s hard not to be embarrassed for them all.