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TRICK

SYNOPSIS:
Gabriel (Christian Campbell) is a young gay guy hoping to make his mark one day as a musical theatre composer. His two best friends are Katherine (Tori Spelling), a struggling off-Broadway actress, and Perry (Steve Hayes), a sometime cabaret performer. Looking to spice up his non-existent love life, Gabriel heads down to a local gay cruise bar where he immediately catches the eye of hunky go-go boy Mark (John Paul Picoc). It's lust at first sight, but with both their respective apartments unavailable for one reason or another, finding somewhere to be alone proves to be a major problem. Following a visit to another gay bar, dawn finds the pair still on the street bidding a passionate farewell, but knowing that their thwarted one night stand is actually the beginning of something special.

"Though it now boasts much improved production values and a more socially relevant narrative, the independent gay film remains the specialised fodder of the art house circuit, and rumours concerning its impending assault on the multiplex barricades are entirely unfounded. By and large, it's the British, with delightful items like Beautiful Thing, Bedrooms and Hallways and the current Get Real, who have made the more substantial mainstream inroads. The Americans' track record (a big studio picture like Philadelphia notwithstanding) is not nearly as impressive and Trick is a case in point. It's certainly not a bad film, but it's not a terribly interesting one either. As written by Jason Schafer, Gabriel and Mark are gay allright, but beyond that the opportunity to delve a little deeper into even the most basic issues surrounding their sexuality has been well and truly squandered in favour of bland plot mechanics better suited to the nondescript mid-week telemovie. Of course, there are many who would argue that a gay film's viability and worth should not be measured on the basis of its relevance to prevailing gay issues. Like the religious epic with too much heaven on its mind, the heavily politicised gay film runs the very real risk of not just alienating its core audience but also ruining its chances of winning any new converts as well. Despite the earnest amiability of its slim premise and that of its fresh-faced young cast, Trick is an enervating exercise in conventionality whose tenure at the arthouse, unfortunately, will be brief."
Leo Cameron

"
Aimed at gay male audiences, Trick is in many ways an old fashioned love story. Universal in its issues, it could in fact be a love story for any sexual persuasion. Set against a backdrop of writing musicals and songs, the protagonist is looking for love. But he is somewhat insecure not only about himself, his sexuality, but also his instincts. Who can he trust? Although Trick may not have the dramatic curve and emotional impact of a film like Get Real, it nonetheless has a heart with unexpected humour and appealing performances. 'You gotta grab life by the balls and go for the unexpected' we are told. The characters are well described, and it is easy to feel for Gabriel, his predicament, his friendships and dreams. Christian Campbell is a cute as punch, dimples and all, while John Paul Pitoc plays the go go boy with the right balance of complexity. Effective is the friendship between Katherine (Tory Spelling is vibrant), while the impromptu reunion between artist Perry and his ex makes for the biggest emotional hit. Watch out for the bar scene when a disco version of 'I am Woman' towers above the naked-to-the-waist gay guys doing their stuff. This is a boy meets boy story, and the dilemma that proves to be none to easy, is where to go for a private moment? 'You can't ask a one-night-stand to come back tomorrow night' is the reaility. Trick may not set the world on fire, but it's a sweet film, with poignant moments and a lingering mood that explores love, hopes and dreams."
Louise Keller

"Ah love, wherever we find it…and of course finding it between the sheets - or even on top them - is usually a prerequisite. Trick concentrates on that aspect of a new affair…. While Leo is quite right that it's a bit of a non event, Louise is also right in that it has an engaging sweetness and innocence that sits oddly with its frank language and even franker scenes. Its biggest weakness seems to be the plodding, dull opening half hour, which spends all its time establishing Gabriel as a struggling young musicals composer - as if this was going to be significant. It isn't really. But I do like the performances - especially Pitoc's - and the mood of the film. All that said, it is perhaps a terrific gay date movie."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

TRICK (M15+)
(Aus)

CAST: Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Brad Beyer, Lacey Kohl, Tori Spelling, Abbey Hope, Becky Caldwell, Kate Flannery, Steve Hayes, Will Keenan, Joey Dedio, Ricky Ritzel.

DIRECTOR: Jim Fall

PRODUCER: Eric d’Arbeloff, Jim Fall, Ross Katz

SCRIPT: Jason Scafer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Terry Stacey

EDITOR: Brian A. Kates

MUSIC: David Friedman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jody Asnes

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 30, 2000 (Sydney only)







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