Nothing is ever what you expect it to be in the movies. None more so in this new one by edgy Canadian writer/director Bruce La Bruce whose art films usually cross over to pornography on some level. Given the combination of La Bruce’s reputation and the controversial subject matter, this one started out against all odds as a very sweet and tender love story, almost shockingly so. A sort of gay Harold and Maude.
Skinny quiet cute twink Lake has a very pretty girlfriend albeit that she actually seems much more passionate about her favorite female revolutionaries such as Lizzie Borden and Ulrike Meinhof that she calls out to when she is making out with Lake. He still lives at his home with his needy alcoholic mother who announces one night that she has swapped her job running a Strip Club to managing a Senior Centre. Go figure. She employs Lake to be an Orderly, and given the fact that his own bedroom is decorated by a life size photo of an ancient looking Mahatma Gandhi, we already know that he has a bit of a thing for old geezers.
What we don’t know until after he gives a bedbath to one of the 80 year old inhabitants of the Home, that this could be more than just a passing fancy. This particularly elderly gentleman has been drugged into a comatose state, but when Lake helps him avoid being dosed up again, this retired old gay actor becomes a lot more animated, especially when tanked up by the martinis that his young admirer is now serving him up. When the two of them are discovered together in a state of undress (fortunately the sex is off screen) although people are shocked, there is strangely no drama at all. Nevertheless Lake still thinks it is necessary to stage an intervention and whisk old Mr Peabody off in the middle of the night so that they can be together for ever.
They undertake a road-trip where at every truck stop and if any man looks at the elderly gent who they assume is Lake’s grandfather, he gets very paranoid and jealous and this sweet but silly story starts to lose some of its fine line of credibility. As much as one wants to like this unusual story, La Bruce has not made it too easy with writing some painfully stilted dialogue that he handed to one very hammy old actor and a very inexperienced emotionless young one. I can only hope that his performance in his old lover’s bed wasn’t quite so limp.
P.S. the only full frontal nudity that is in this movie it that of Mr Peabody : be warned.