However Nolan cannot get the young hustler out of his mind and next day seeks him out on the street corner where his usually ‘works’ for another ‘date’. Nolan still makes no sexual demands and is content to just look at Leo’s naked body as he lies on the bed and the too of them just talk. It’s the beginning of an intermittent relationship that Nolan is happy to pay for but as they meet more frequently his normal restraint and over-cautiousness disappears and he behaves quite rashly trying to keep Leo around.
Nolan’s clumsiness in covering his unusual absences from home arouse the suspicions of his wife who holds back from saying anything as their marriage on convenience has suited her well up to now. As Nolan confesses to his comatose father, he realized that he was gay the summer he turned 12 years old, and then just went on with his life pretending nothing had happened. In fact nothing has since then as he is not a closeted man having gay liaisons on the side and has been content to totally suppress his sexuality and play happy families ever since.
In one of his last movies before his untimely death Robin Williams gives a career-best performance with this quiet un-showy role. He beautifully captures the angst mixed with relief of a man finally acknowledging to himself he is gay. Williams has played morose and lonely men before (‘One Hour Photo’) but he plumbs new depths here as a kind soul who tries desperately not to hurt anyone else involved. He is matched by a rather wonderful pitch-perfect turn by Kathy Baker as Joy his wife who wanted to always continue to believe that everything was alright in the status quo even though she could see through her husband’s lies.
The fact that Nolan opted to chose to expose himself to the troubled life of a hooker and his pimp it was inevitable that this scenario itself would end in tears. However when it all became public is was, as Nolan’s Professor friend declared ‘maybe it’s never to late to start living the life that you really want.