Mockumentary look at Playgirl Magazine centerfold and 1992 Man of the Year, Dirk Shafer, who kept it a secret from the magazine that he is gay. Most of the film is a fictionalized retelling...
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Robert Lee King
Mockumentary look at Playgirl Magazine centerfold and 1992 Man of the Year, Dirk Shafer, who kept it a secret from the magazine that he is gay. Most of the film is a fictionalized retelling of Dirk's decision to send a photograph to Playgirl, his selection as a centerfold and then Man of the Year, his many TV interviews, his friend Vivian Paxton posing as his beard, and the pressures from his live-in lover to come out of the closet. Interspersed with this chronological narrative are a black and white look at an evening Dirk spends with Angela Lucassey, a woman from Reno who wins Playgirl's national contest to have a date with Dirk, and an interview with a stripper who tracks Dirk down. Written by
This movie is made in the "mock-umentary" style popularized in recent by Christopher Guest and co. ("Best in Show", "A Mighty Wind"), yet interestingly, it was made before all the ones I can think of except "Spinal Tap". And to my mind, it is just as good, if not better than the others. "Man of the Year" is based on Dirk Shafer's experiences as a Playgirl model--personally, I'd love to know just how much of the movie was based on real events; the movie is so skillfully done, it's difficult to tell. It has a subtle, intelligent humor all its own, and is, at times, quite touching (something other mockumentaries never get near).
A fine piece of movie-making, well worth watching.
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