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Outfest 2009 :: Lucky Bastard

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Jul 16, 2009
Outfest 2009 :: Lucky Bastard

Hunky boys do not a good film make. This really needs to be the "go-to" phrase at the end of every gay film festival, yet it seems Lucky Bastard missed the memo. Hunky boys serve as a distraction, yes, but they can't make a film any better.

Written and Directed by Everett Lewis, Lucky Bastard takes place mainly in a hotel room rented out by a successful architect named Rusty (Patrick Tatten.)

Why he actually lives in a hotel room is uncertain especially with the money he is making designing houses. Also uncertain is the fact that he has a boyfriend who leaves town for weeks on end but seems to want to be in a committed relationship. Not really the best of circumstances for a flourishing romance.

Worse still, Rusty meets hunky bad-boy Denny (Dale Dymkoski) at a convenience store and in minutes, the two are screwing around in a backroom. Denny is a hot, well-built guy and Patrick is a hunk of dark haired goodness, so the visual eye-candy is all well and good. But what the hell is Rusty thinking?

Not only does he have (what appears to be) a solid relationship, but this Denny guy wants money... is codependent... is unfaithful.... over-eager... has a crystal habit... did porn.... I mean... this guy has more red flags than a Russian army.

Yet, somehow, for reasons unknown still, Denny and Rusty fall in love. Rusty excuses the drug habit and the theft of hundreds of dollars because he clings to this phantom love he claims to have for a guy he has nothing in common with and met only days before.

Unfortunately, this makes Rusty look like a putz, and Denny seem like an incredible jerk. Not two people I'd prefer to spend an hour and half with.

Denny is a hot mess. Literally. His body alone keeps the audience from napping, but that's not enough. There is nothing going on here. No plot. No sense of time or place. No character development or plot momentum of any kind. We just watch a decent guy fall for a loser and wonder why? Then we remember the good guy has a boyfriend so that just makes his quick decent into love all that more icky.

The cinematography and direction are strictly film-school, with the camera not moving away from either a static two-shot or dull one-shot for minutes at a time.

What s unfortunate is that there is an interesting story buried underneath the monotony. Delving into Rusty's reasons for not only putting his relationship in jeopardy, but for allowing a messed-up guy to take advantage of him is ripe for an interesting character study.

What is it that Denny is looking for from Rusty and why does he perpetuate the abuse? These are the questions that would make for an interesting story. But without any answers or any sort of literate dive inside these men's minds, we're left with two men that look good, but that we pity in a way that just makes us want to look away.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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