After the Kray family meeting at the Waldorf near the film's beginning, Jack Kray emerges onto the street, and into an angry gay rights protest, with dark hair which he doesn't sport in any other scene. It's unexplained, and not a flashback because Anthony climbs onto his car as part of the protest. See more »
What am I part of, Jack? An issue? Don't you get it? Issues are what they use to divide us. Sexual orientation, race, gender... All issues that don't actually pertain to anyone except those being cut out and thrown away by the issue. Does it really matter to some farmer in Kansas whether or not two men get married in Vermont? But see, they need us to choose sides. They create these issues for us to cling to, to grasp at. You know they separate us into these divisions: Black, White, Gay...
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Making a Statement at the Expense of Telling a Story
"Poster Boy" tries so hard to make a statementso very, very hardthat I really wished it was better than it is. Henry Kray (Matt Newton), the closeted gay son of a conservative North Carolina senator (Michael Lerner), grudgingly agrees to introduce the senator at a rally held at the fictional New York college he attends, if only so his father will stop smacking him at the breakfast table, but then high-tails it to the family's Palm Springs house to escape the duty. Alas, an eager-to-please young Republican (Ian Reed Kesler) is sent to retrieve Newton and drag his ass back to NYC, though not before Newton can drag him to a gay bar then rent Kesler a shapely call girl for the night. Meanwhile, Anthony (Jack Noseworthy), a former gay activist and recently fired fashion house go-fer, is looking for love but only finding one-night stands while his roommate, Izzy (Valerie Geffner, doing her best Ally Sheedy-in-"The Breakfast Club" impersonation), pops Prozac and snarls at anyone within spitting distance as she tries to cope with being HIV-positive. As is to be expected, all these characters' paths will cross and collide (at times literally) on the way to a Big Moment.
Heavy-handed though it is, the script actually has a few good points to make. If only screenwriters Ryan Shiraki and Lecia Rosenthal put as much thought into telling a story as making a statement, especially when they're preaching to the choir. As it is, the narrative is more like a series of contrivances meant to move the characters toward that Big Moment rather than plausible events arising from believable circumstances. Luckily, the movie is buoyed somewhat by fairly solid acting. Karen Allen is a welcome presence as the senator's chain-smoking, heavy drinking wife, even if her Southern accent is a tad bit overdone (conversely, Lerner's Southern accent is almost nonexistent). Director and co-editor Zak Tucker packs the movie with lots of stylefrom quick cuts to split screens to moody gels and filtersmaking his movie nearly unwatchable in the process.
"Poster Boy" also has continuity errors galore. Cigarettes are a particular problem, be it a reporter lighting a half-smoked cigarette in the opening scene, only to be shown seconds later with a fresh one dangling from his lips unlit; or Allen smoking a newly lit cigarette, then shown lighting it a quick cut later. There's also the extra so nice we have to see her passing Newton and Noseworthy twice in the same scene (made worse by the fact that Newton calls attention to her the first time around), and Lerner is shown getting into a limo with his hair a mousy brown when in the rest of the movie it's white. Other distractions: How do Noseworthy and Geffnerone unemployed, the other a bookstore clerk making $7 an hourafford a chauffeured Town Car? And why the gratuitous female nudity in a movie that features gay men with hyperactive sex lives? Sadly, the two male leads are only fleetingly shown in their skivvies.
For all its problems, "Poster Boy" isn't awful, but it made its statements so loudly and so often that I found myself tuning them out, wondering instead whether anyone in wardrobe was going to rustle up something else for Ms. Allen to wear besides that lavender suit.
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