role/play (2010)

Ok, I’ll be honest. I just discovered that Cagney & Lacey is on Netflix Instant, so I’ve ben lax in contributing to your instant viewing salvation. I’m sorry. Donsies.

I watched Role/Play a few weeks ago and considered watching it again to refresh my memory for writing this review, but thought better of it, seeing as I already have indigestion and frankly, am running out of Tums. I hope you appreciate that I do this for you, dear reader, braving 1.5-star Netflix shit-shows so you don’t have to. My point: this movie is so stupid.

Speech-impeded six-packed Steve Callahan plays Graham, a soap-star that is outed to his fans via sex tape. Fraught with perceived public disapproval, he retreats to a gay B&B in Palm Springs where he meets gay-activist Trey, played by shitty-gay-movie-regular Matthew Mongomery, who happens to be in his own tabloid scandal. The two bond over their problems of privilege and get it on. And that’s the story, folks. It never gets much deeper than that, although the script – peppered with snarky, pseudo-intellectual quips and social “message” – makes many unsuccessful attempts.

Eg.

“It’s easy to say, ‘I love you.’ It’s harder to say ‘I hurt you, I fucked up, but damnit, I still love you.'”

“You should embroider that on a pillow or something.”

“You’re right I should.”

The film tries to say something about celebrity, contemporary sexual politics and honesty, but frankly, between the shitty writing (see WRITERS?), hammer-over-head political ideals (see PREACHY), and the lead actor’s aforementioned lisp, I find difficulty in understanding anything this film has to say.

The one thing this film does have in it is gay sex, and it’s surprisingly well lit. So if that’s enough for you – and let’s not fool ourselves, sometimes it is – then this dud’s for you.

I do have to give props to David Pevsner, who plays the world-weary proprietor who has some good advice about life and love and a wry smile at just the right moments. But even his verve and aplomb ain’t enough to get this film off the ground. Role/Play is like an hour and a half’s worth of Ambien on top of some cosmos – leaves you kind of drowsy and on the verge of vomiting.

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