Poster Boy Movie Review

Poster Boy is an overwrought drama far more interested in making political points than in entertaining its audience. The story of an arch-conservative Senator whose reelection campaign is threatened by the potential outing of his estranged gay son, it's held together with a hard-to-accept mish-mash of coincidences, pontifications, and badly lit sex scenes, all shot with a shaky handheld camera that inspires more wooziness than urgency.

The obese and ugly North Carolina Senator Jack Kray (Michael Lerner) keeps his boozy wife (Karen Allen) on a very short leash and would do the same to his college student son Henry (Matt Newton) if Matt were still close enough. When they reunite on the eve of a speech that the Senator will deliver on Henry's campus, Henry is appalled to find out that father wants him to deliver a fawning introduction to dear old dad. When Henry balks, Dad simply smacks him in the face. Nice.

At the same time, gay rights activist Anthony (Jack Noseworthy) and his roommate, the angry HIV-positive Izzy (Valerie Geffner), find their way to Henry's campus and decide to crash a party to remember what it was like to be young back about six years ago. At the party, Anthony encounters Henry, crushes on him hard, and beds him in the gym without know to whom he's related. When he finds out the next day who he's nailed, he realizes that by outing Henry at the Senator's speech, he'll single-handedly destroy the campaign and victory will be his.

And so the movie stumbles toward the big scene, building suspense by suggesting that Anthony may have real feelings toward Henry and may not want to do anything to harm him, a strange thought to have the morning after a smarmy one night stand. As for Henry, he spends most of the movie retelling the whole tale to a newspaper reporter after the fact, which gives him ample time to pontificate at length on red vs. blue culture wars and how politics divides rather than unites society. Yawn.

Despite good performances all around (it's always nice to see Karen Allen, and Michael Lerner really knows how to look menacing with a cigar), Poster Boy has too much anger and not enough heart. We all sat around in college having the sort of angry liberal rap sessions that this film painstakingly recreates. We don't have to relive them now.

Dude, aren't you in that poster?

Cast & Crew

Director : Zak Tucker

Producer : Jeffrey H. Campagna, Rebecca Chaiklin, , Vince P. Maggio,


Comments

Poster Boy Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2004

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