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I am surprised at how many people have given 'The Fluffer' a poor
rating. I found the film to be very entertaining. The acting was
excellent, the writing was excellent, and the sexual tension is
incredibly well portrayed. I would say it is not as good as My Own
Private Idaho, but it was certainly up there with it in quality.
The main character, Sean McGinnis (played by Michael Cunio) was very believable and I would like to see him in more films. The porn star was played very well by Scott Gurney who has since gone on to become the host of a reality TV program (what a shame).
This is a definite surprise film I expected b-grade and definitely got a-grade.
See it; you will not regret it.
This film delves into the world of gay pornography in a similar (if inferior) way that "Boogie Nights" dissected straight porn. Cunio is a classic film lover, new to L.A., who inadvertently views a gay porno movie featuring Gurney. Soon, his obsession with Gurney reaches the point where he is willing to get a job in the industry merely to catch a glimpse of him. Eventually, he finds himself closer to him than he ever dreamed possible (hence the title.) Unfortunately, Gurney is ostensibly straight and does these films merely for the money. The film touches on, but doesn't explore fully, the fascinating aspect of this. Why, if Gurney is straight, is he able to (and willing to) be 'fluffed' by a male? Wouldn't a female do this job more efficiently? Why does Gurney allow Cunio to perform fellatio on him, but won't allow him to kiss on the lips? These questions are the ones that could provide more drama, insight and discussion than the rather obvious and tired explorations of drugs, crime and losing grip on popularity. The film might have had more impact if it had focused on the relationship between the two male leads and downplayed the more familiar aspects of the setting. The film has elements that are both clichéd and clever. The thing is that clichés are clichés because they have actually happened so many times that people begin to expect them. The clichés in this film are actualities in nearly every case. It just may not be necessary to dwell on them again (even thought they are ably presented here.) One particularly clever moment occurs when Cunio finally sets a date to go out with Gurney and when the day arrives, 'FRIDAY' flashes on the screen to the sound of an alarm. This was surprising and charming. The performances are excellent all around. Cunio is wonderful. He's gorgeous and affecting and is bound to go places if he can avoid type-casting after this. Gurney is excellent as well and totally 'gets' his character. His girlfriend is played by the striking Day who is a revelation in her portrayal. She excels at nearly every aspect of her character and is able to make the stale 'dancer with a heart of gold' role interesting and sympathetic. A palette of familiar faces rounds out the cast and all performers do well. "Lou Grant" fans should be stunned to see former cast member Walden practically begging to give oral sex to various men, but he does it convincingly. The faux video titles and covers are amusing and accurate (and the DVD presents a gallery of them.) One added note: a dash of frontal nudity may have given this film a bit more ring of truth. It's avoidance of it gives the movie a sometimes coy feel which is completely at odds with the gritty subject matter.
A bisexual young man (Michael Cunio) gets a job at a porno company to get
close to a porn star (Scott Gurney) that he's in love with. Unfortunately,
the star is straight and living with his girlfriend.
This film got some savage reviews in the gay press so I expected the worst. But it was pretty good. It starts off as a mild but very funny comedy and suddenly veers off into depressing drama at the end. It's jarring but it does end up working. Still, the ending was pretty bad and very negative. All in all, it's an OK film with a funny view of the gay porn industry.
The acting is good--especially by Gurney. He absolutely gorgeous with an incredible body...and he can act! He's VERY pleasing to the eyes. Cunio is just OK as the kid. Not bad, not good, just OK. Also Deborah Harry (Blondie) turns in a strong performance as a strip club owner.
One big problem: Despite the subject matter, there is no frontal male nudity!!!! Whose idea was that?
I just recently saw "the Fluffer" this weekend. I'd read many positive
reviews of the film but came to gather a different feeling from watching
Most movies with the words "coming of age story" on the back are usually
hints that the lead character will go through many situations and we'll see
them develope into their "new self" by the end. However, by the end of this
movie i didn't feel like i knew anything more about the main character
The movie starts off well, as we see Sean become more and more obsessed
gay-for-pay porn star Johnny Rebel, but somewhere in the near middle it
begins to spiral into too many directions. I had a hard time figuring out
who was the main character after a while, Johnny or Sean?
Writer Wash West(moreland), better known for adult titles, begins to lose track also. It's not a bad debut for an adult writer and those of us who have been through the same situation as Sean will see a good portrayal of how it feels to love someone who doesn't love you back. The main problem is that Sean is as ambiguous of a character as Rebel, and it soon seems that his whole problem is in him and not his situation with Johnny. If this film was about that, it would be great...but it's not. The character depth and film direction is lacking, just as how commonly it lacks in adult films,which is a kind of an ironic trait to the film.
Bottom line: performances are very good, the movie is entertaining but the writing lacks some direction. If it were an actual adult film, it would be the most dramatic one i've ever seen.
After Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights", the porn industry has
been explored in a few interesting ways. Last year's "Wonderland"
showed the downfall of porn legend John Holmes, a study of how
desperate he became after realizing he hasn't been seen for anything
but his "manhood". I recently saw "The Fluffer" which is detached to
its subject, and simply shows how the characters are affected by their
"The Fluffer" is a film that unflinchingly shows the work of a small gay porn studio. I questioned its taste in some points, but I did in "Boogie Nights" also. I liked how it realistically shows how sex outweighing love leads to insanity in some form or another, but it is extremely hard to watch in spots.
Wash Westmoreland's story follows a pure young man named Sean who lets himself be degraded and used in his work as a cameraman in the studio. He falls for the studio's biggest star, Johnny Rebel. Rebel is straight, or so they say, but Sean can't help but love him. I found this point interesting, how Rebel (and I'm sure many straight porno stars) reduces himself to the homosexual market for more money. Anyway, Sean lets himself be dehumanized by Rebel and soon the industry sends all their lives in the wrong direction.
As a whole, "The Fluffer" doesn't fully succeed. Its messages are all told in familiar ways, (note the use of American flags to show the faded American dream for example) and the ending isn't fully convincing. However, it is a film that never stops entertaining and is definitely one of the very bravest depictions of the porn industry I've ever seen.
(2 and 1/2 out of 4)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'The Fluffer' (2001) intertwines the lives of three very different
characters: Mikey (Scott Gurney), Julie (Roxanne Day) and Sean (Michael
Cunio). Mikey (a.k.a. Johnny Rebel) is a star in the gay porn industry,
yet claims to be heterosexual. He is in a romantic relationship with
Julie, an erotic dancer who wants to get her life straight while
struggling with Mikey's infidelity, drug addiction and lack of
responsibility. Sean, a self-proclaimed bisexual, is in total awe of
Mikey and decides to join the porn industry because of him. He starts
out as a cameraman yet soon finds himself as Mikey's personal fluffer,
meaning he 'helps out' when the pornstar cannot get an erection.
What makes this movie interesting is the dynamics between these three characters, as all of them are shadowed by some form of personal tragedy. Perhaps the most obvious one is Mikey. He has a physique enviable even by Greek gods, and also has a gorgeous girlfriend with whom they truly love each other. However, he is not only unable to stay sober or loyal, he is living an outrageous lie. He finds success in acting as a gay pornstar yet openly yearns after females. He is infatuated with people being infatuated with him, no matter what their gender may be. For him having sex with men is just a job like any other. He is well aware of his bodily gifts and takes advantage of it to manipulate his environment. However, to me he did not seem entirely as a negative character. I found his fate truly sad, since he could have so easily had it all; the family, a change in life, and yet he chose to throw it all away. I could not dislike him, because to me he seemed like an eternally lonely person who got lost in a world where he is viewed as a piece of meat.
Sean is a smarter character. He is well aware of just how impossible it is to fulfill his desire to be with Mikey. He is quite literally on his knees before his idol, and lets Mikey take full advantage of him. Sean's tragedy is his inability to break free from the spell Mikey's beauty has cast upon him. He knows he is being used, yet does not do a thing against it. He lives for those occasional moments when he matters to his object of desire, which sadly enough has nothing to do with Sean. He only matters to Mikey when Mikey needs something; an erection, money or a getaway. This relationship is perfectly visualized in Sean's dream when he is watching Mikey from behind the mirror and in reality Mikey is kissing his own image when Sean leans in. Sean is nothing more than a fluffer, temporarily satisfying the ego of his idol.
Julie is a girl who also works on the surface of the sex industry, though is not as consumed by it as Mikey. She simply is fed up by Mikey's inability to be there for her, and it takes an abortion for her to literally lock him out of her life and move on, possibly towards a brighter future. She finally understands that it is not enough to have a sex god as a boyfriend. Her tragedy is the loss of her unborn child, and the loss of the man she loves However the latter bit is not necessarily a negative issue in the long term. She is a sympathetic character who finally is strong enough to break the devil's cycle.
Directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland did a good job at portraying how the fates of these three characters first meet, then part. While Julie and Sean both find a painful but efficient way to drag themselves out of their constant source of unhappiness, Mikey's future looks the most bleak. He is clearly not heading towards any positive change, he is merely continuing the wrong path he decided to initially take.
Overall the movie was certainly unusual and had no lack in some explicit sex scenes. Though I will not count this among my favorites, it did a great job at showing the terrible consequences of denial and lies, as well as how easily the sex industry can lead to drug addiction and burnouts. The most memorable line for me was when Sam, the main cameraman says to Sean: "We're not talking about sex here, this is pornography." That says it all. Sex and pornography do not go hand in hand, just as well as adoration and appreciation (or love and happiness if you will) are not reciprocals of one another either. It paints a crude, raw picture of one form of reality.
The Fluffer is a rather strange and provocative introduction to the
world of obsession and love in the adult entertainment industry with
some painful twists along the way. It all starts when a young wide-eyed
innocent film student, Sean McGinnis, played by the handsome Michael
Cunio, moves to Los Angeles to try and break into the movies, like so
many before him. It is not as easy as it looks in the films he rents
whilst trying to get that big break. One of the movies he rents from a
local video store is the classic Citizen Kane, however hapless
individuals at the video rental place have somehow mixed it up with hot
adult flick 'Citizen Cum'. It is this accidental mix up of tapes that
gives birth to a lengthy and powerful obsession Sean develops for the
porn-star star of Citizen Cum, Johnny Rebel, played perfectly by Scott
Sean finds work on the sets of gay pornography films, first doing odd jobs, then filming and takes on the mysterious and yet sometimes highly sought after position of 'fluffer'. Now for the uninitiated the 'fluffer' is the person responsible for assisting with the performer's ability to perform, making soft things hard, in the days before Viagra! Scott has to get hands on with porn-star Johnny Rebel and is instantly smitten with the hunk star that despite doing the deed in dozens of gay porn films is in fact straight and only gay for pay. Johnny lives with abrasive stripper girlfriend and seems to have pretty much everything. As Sean gets to know more about Johnny, whose real name outside the industry of gay porn is Mikey, he becomes more and more obsessed with the increasingly self-absorbed and utterly narcissistic star.
The Fluffer is an interesting film, which has surprisingly little nudity and sexy considering where the story is based. It raises many issues, such as drug abuse, corruption, obsession, self-hatred, internalised homophobia and self-discovery. It also acts as a warning against following the object of your obsession to carefully or to closely. It is not the greatest gay movie in the world, but it did perhaps open up the world of the adult entertainment industry in a slightly sanitised way that had many people talking. There were also appearances from a number of adult stars, including Chad Donovan, Thomas Lloyd, Zach Richards, Jim Steel, Chi Chi LaRue and even pop diva Debbie Harry had a small part.
Read more and find out where this film made it in the Top 50 Most Influential Gay Movies of All Time book, click this link. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007FU7HPO or search for it on Amazon
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Fluffer" boasts some moments of really good acting and some
quality comedic & dramatic scenes throughout it's run. However, as a
heterosexual male, this movie also had plenty of moments that left me
feeling uncomfortable, and some others that were pretty outlandish.
Not to familiar with movies in this genre, I thought I would give this one a go. It was worth watching, but I really wouldn't want to see it more than once.
Sean is a young inexperienced gay man whose just moved to LA and is struggling to find his place in both his professional and personal life. While renting a gay X-rated film one night, he becomes intoxicated with its leading man Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney). So he hightails it over to the company that made the film and gets himself a job as a P.A. (production assistant).
This leads him to an encounter with none other than Johnny Rebel- who after some "difficulty" shooting a particular scene, carouses young Sean over to him and asks him for a little "help". Hence, Sean becomes a sort of personal "fluffer" for Johnny when he has this difficult moments from there on....
"Fluffing" is a term that refers to someone who coaxes and erection out of a male porn actor when they are having trouble.
So Sean becomes obsessed with Johnny- a guy who has plenty of demons of his own. Johnny is a straight, egotistical, arrogant crystal meth user who lives with his stripper girlfriend Julie (Roxanne Day).
Things began to really spiral out of control when Julie gets pregnant, wants to have the baby, and Johnny starts to decline in his status as a top porn star.
Some scenes in "The Fluffer" work very nicely. The scenes with Johnny and Julia, as well as most with Johnny and Sean are very well acted and play out nicely. Johnny is a tortured soul- and you can easily feel his despair. All three of the actors did a great job with their characters.
The movie takes a real downturn towards the end- with Johnny and Sean hightailing it down to Mexico for reasons you'll have to watch to find out. Johnny's decent downhill plays out too quick, and overall is pretty far fetched. There's also a small subplot with Sean trying to date some other guy that really wasn't needed in the movie.
Overall, this reviewer felt the stronger half of the film was it's first half. And although the subject matter and some scenes were a little too much for me personally, the performances in "The Fluffer" helped to make the movie watchable and believable for the most part.
I wouldn't want to see it again- but would say the "The Fluffer" is an average film with some above average acting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, so I get to see some big time actors in a movie about low budget gay porn and I learn what the word fluffer means. I am so glad I found out about that. Okay, so now we have a straight man doing gay porn and doing his girl friend and I think the new word is called bisexual. Then we have this burned out has been porn actor kill a guy for some more take on stolen property and he walks away into the wonderful ocean scenery to enjoy a life of having lovely senoritas for snacks. I really wasn't ticked off with this film until the end which just absolutely stunk. The one character is ditched and stuck in Mexico to do what, find his worthless gay porn actor again? The worthless gay porn actor is free to the life of robbing Mexican grocery stores? Why even develop the characters for such a loser ending?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This story has been done a million times before but here given a sort of original twist by being set in the gay porn industry.
A naive youngster comes to the big city, falls for a handsome straight hunk he sees in porn films and actually tracks him down. And then even better with whom he actually is able to have sexual encounters by being the fluffer (one who gives sexual stimulation off camera) on set as well as being the cameraman. His affection is not even recognised and certainly not reciprocated.
Helping the object of his affection out in his hour of need he is led on only to be betrayed and left high and dry. Seems familiar - well it is, but that said this wasn't bad for a low budget art house film that a big studio would never touch. Some strange/funny/bizarre insights into the porn industry too.
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