Romantic complications: Gabriel is caught in the middle between his best friend Katharine and a potential romance with Mark (Spelling, Campbell, Pitoc).
dir Jim Fall scr Jason Schafer
with Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Tori Spelling, Lorri Bagley, Clinton Leupp, Brad Beyer, Steve Hayes, Kevin Chamberlin, Joey Dedio, Lacey Kohl, Becky Caldwell, Scottie Epstein
99/US 4 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Without even a touch of gritty edginess, Trick is an unashamed gay romantic comedy ... very funny, consistently engaging and thoroughly entertaining. It's also full of terrifically memorable characters who are brought to wonderful life by the cast. So who really cares if there's nothing serious going on? The film follows 24 hours in the life of Gabriel (Campbell), a young man who aspires to write musical theatre, encouraged by his hyperactive best friend Katherine (Spelling). He's never had much luck at love, so when hunky dancer Mark (Pitoc) picks him up he can't believe his luck. But his flatmate and girlfriend (Beyer and Bagley) have the apartment for the night, so the duo goes on a trawl around Manhattan looking for some privacy. Without much luck.

The central duo are terrific--nicely underplaying the early stages of romantic attraction and uncertainty amid constant interruption. And they're surrounded by a cast of scene-stealers. Spelling is manic and larger-than-life (and hilarious); Hayes is hilariously endearing as Gabriel's camp friend; and as drag queen Coco Peru, Leupp steals the whole film with an outrageous cautionary monologue. Fall directs the film with skill and ease, belying the small budget and letting the characters rise above most rom-com formulas. And Schafer's script is full of heart ... and some very, very funny gags. But the most refreshing thing is the fact that it never tries to preach. It just lets its characters fall slowly and sweetly in love, and gives us plenty to laugh about along the way.

[15--adult themes, language, some nudity] 8.Apr.00
US release 23.Jul.99; UK release 5.May.00
Centrepiece Film: 14th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, April 00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall