Six people in New York are adrift. Zeke and Luke work in a sex shop: Zeke takes gay liberation seriously, Luke likes to sparkle and takes nothing seriously. He's offended when Stephen calls him a gay cliché, then, surprisingly, they find each other attractive and interesting. Stephen, it turns out, has a great apartment, trust fund, and artwork he's painted on his walls. Meanwhile, Peter, a neat-freak, and Derek, nice to everyone, move in together. Peter's compulsiveness threatens the relationship. Last, newly-engaged Marilyn, a recovering alcoholic stuck at step 2, can't stop obsessing about wedding details. Can these folks sort out civilization and its discontents? Written by
A Four Letter Word is not a ground-breaking piece of cinema by any stretch. But for all its failings, there is enough substance to enjoy.
The plot leans on the weak side and the main character (Luke) extremely unlikeable. I found myself, at times, feeling very disengaged with his experiences in the film.
But pushing past this, there are laughs along the way and some of the minor characters actually steal the limelight.
The problem with this film is that it throws together all the major gay clichés, and for this reason it stumbles constantly. The director surely must have had more vision than to peddle worn-out and tired gay stereotypes.
Successful gay cinema celebrates diversity and breaks free of the constraints and expectations society imposes on homosexuality.
If anything, A Four Letter Word is a major disappointment in this regard. I expected a lot more.
It's easy to pick holes in this film but there is enough to keep watching until the end.
I have given it a solid 5 for a pass and the power of the support cast saves me from a harsher judgment.
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