19 November 2006 | gradyharp
POSTER BOY is a film with a lot of potential: the story premise is solid (though a bit tired), the cast of both young and experienced actors is quite fine, and there are some worthwhile statements about our political system, about tolerance and acceptance and family, and about being true to yourself. Despite all of these aspects that should have made a fine little film the whole thing bogs down with some of the worst editing and camera work on record. That, and the writers' (Lecia Rosenthal and Ryan Shiraki) need to place platitudes into normal conversation is most distracting. Zak Tucker as director just didn't seem to have control of this piece.
The story itself is rather simple. Through the gimmick of a confession to a reporter we meet handsome young Henry Kray (the talented Matt Newton), gay since early teens but electing to keep his private life a secret, who is the son of Senator Jack Kray (Michael Lerner) and his lovely but docile wife Eunice (the fine Karen Allen). It seems that six months prior to the time we are invited into the conversation Henry met Anthony (hunky Jack Noseworthy) whose roommate is HIV positive Izzie (Valerie Geffner). Henry and Anthony have a one-night stand the day before Jack Kray is to give a speech for re-election at Henry's college. The Senator accidentally hits Izzie with his car and Eunice insists Izzie stay with them in their suite where the two women bond. Meanwhile Henry's night with Anthony makes him late for the speech, but a talk to Henry from Jack before the speech telling him what to say (Jack is the best father, loves family values, etc) sticks in Henry's throat and soon after he obeys his father's wishes for the speech introduction, Henry turns to his table partner Anthony and the two kiss openly as the Senator is addressing the crowd - all caught by the media of course.
How this moment of honesty alters the lives of everyone around is the crux of the ending. Not a bad tale, but the camera work is so patchy and disconcertingly disconnected that it defies the viewer to keep the storyline straight. But if the viewer can keep up visually, the performances by the cast are well worth attention. There is some very fine talent on the screen of this B movie! Grady Harp