Poster Boy is no film, it’s a soapbox, and to give you an idea of the hysterical pitch at which it operates, consider the original title of co-screenwriter Ryan Shiraki’s directorial debut: Home of Phobia. For Zak Tucker’s own premiere behind the camera, Shiraki and Lecia Rosenthal exploit red state/blue state tensions, scripting an act-up soap opera that unintelligently panders to pro-gay sentiment. Henry (Matt Newton), the queer son of a radical right-wing senator (Michael Lerner), pours his heart out to a reporter, wondering aloud if the Empire State building is “lonely” (ostensibly because the Twin Towers are no longer around) and bemoaning how “issues is what they use to divide us.” These interview scenes are ludicrous, silly framing devices that position the film as a series of flashbacks, condescendingly allowing Henry, who pitifully and self-righteously yaps away as if he were lying on a psychiatrist’s couch, to dissect the conundrum of his life for anyone the filmmakers think is too stupid to do so independently. The film is reasonably well-acted and ends on a surprisingly open-ended note, but the story is a succession of hoary clichés, from Eunice Kray (Karen Allen) asking her son about his “roommate” (as they say, mothers always know) to a young college Republican, Skip (Ian Red Kesler), blurting out, after befriending Henry during a night of cherry-popping bacchanalia, how he hopes his new buddy would contract AIDS and die. The film has little hope for people like Skip, whom the filmmakers suggest are not to be trusted, but it’s the story’s with-us-or-against tirade that deserves derision.
- Here! Films and Regent Releasing
- 98 min
- Zak Tucker
- Lecia Rosenthal, Ryan Shiraki
- Jack Noseworthy, Valerie Geffner, Matt Newton, Ian Reed Kesler, Austin Lysy, Michael Lerner, Karen Allen
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