There seems to be a shortage of good gay cinema. It’s very rare that Daniel and I see a movie worth mentioning. Most of them have the same tiresome stereotypes and plot lines. And it’s really a shame because I know there has to be talent out there. Gay people are so diverse, complex, and interesting. I wish more movies explored our community with more depth.
But this weekend, we were pleasantly surprised by a movie titled Going Down in LA-LA Land, so I thought I’d write a small review about it. Granted, this film probably isn’t the best example of depth (it’s about a young man who gets mixed up in escorting). But the actors really do a good job, and that makes the film worth recommending.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name, written by Andy Zeffer. It stars Matthew Ludwinski as Adam, an aspiring actor who moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career. (Okay, okay, I know… But stick with me on this.)
Adam quickly discovers how difficult it is to get noticed in a town where everyone is an actor. Struggling to make ends meet financially, he gets mixed up in the dark underworld of sex and escort services. (Again, I know… But the director, Casper Andreas, handles the topic carefully so it doesn’t turn into amateur porn.)
All of this changes when Adam gets involved with the closeted star of a popular sitcom, played by Michael Medico. That’s when things really begin to get interesting as lines are drawn and boundaries are pushed.
It’s a pretty good film, thanks in large part to Ludwinski as the leading man and Medico as his love-interest. They’re both likeable and good at expressing the various emotions the characters struggle with. This is a particular talent that seems to be absent in many gay-themed movies, where the characters can be one-dimensional and are usually annoying or painfully stereotypical.
The supporting cast pulls their weight too, even Allison Lane, who is placed in the usual role of female sidekick. Every gay movie has them, it just comes with the territory. She holds her own, and is quite funny in some scenes, although I found her character a bit more difficult to sympathize with. I think that’s how it was intended, though.
Casper Andreas is the director, and he also plays the role of Nick, an important antagonist in the movie. Andreas has done a handful of gay movies. You may be familiar with The Big Gay Musical from 2009. I hope that Going Down in LA-LA Land opens new doors for him, because I’d like to see what he comes up with next.
If you’ve seen it, or decide to watch it, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought.
Here’s the trailer:
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