Directed by Richard Glatzer.
Written by Wash Westmoreland.
Starring Michael Cunio and Scott Gurney.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 3/28/02
In what might be the funniest title for a
film in the history of cinema, "The Fluffer" opened here in San
Francisco last week...and isn't nearly as good as the title would
make you believe.
Don't get me wrong: "The Fluffer"--which
stars Michael Cunio in the titular role as Sean, a fresh-faced
bisexual 22-year-old that finds work at Men of Janus Productions in
Los Angeles--has some funny-ass lines throughout. Most deal with
the explicit nature of Sean's work...which, if you aren't familiar
with the term fluffer, deals with set production assistants that
keep male stars erect in-between shots. There are so many hilarious
lines in "The Fluffer", and sadly, none of them are appropriate for
the workmates that are standing behind you right now as you read
this review. There is also a scene in "The Fluffer" that rivals
that scene in "Showgirls" where Kyle Maclachlan tells Elizabeth
Berkley that she's "gonna be a big star" for Best Dirty Backstage
Guy Line of All Time...you know it when you see it, and it brought a
roar in my theater even though it was shown in the trailer for the
film and most people already knew it was coming.
Sadly, most of these lines come in the first
half of the film, and much like the somewhat-similar "Boogie
Nights", things head south after a major plot twist mid-film. The
other characters in the film that matter are big-stud male porn star
Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney) and his stripper-girlfriend Julie
(Roxanne Day). Johnny's backstory mostly includes his insane use of
crystal method, which sends his emotions out of control; Julie
is--for reasons only movies seem to allow--in love with Johnny even
though he lays other men during his day job and uses drugs during
his night shift. This, friends, does not make for interesting
This is the first film I can think of that
has extensive male-on-male sex scenes (Men of Janus Productions is a
fictionalized gay-sex company only); most of my audience tonight was
comprised of seemingly gay couples*, and they seemed to be pretty
happy with that. Me, I wasn't that turned on by it, and it led to
me laughing mostly when Sean was forced to, well, "do the duty."
But, the hushed tones when guy sex was going on seemed to indicate
to me that this turned some of my audience on...pretty weird stuff
for the straight-edged black guy in the back corner (i.e., me). I
mention this because I know that some of my male friends would walk
out of a film that had even a little homosexual hooking-up...and, if
that is you, skip this film altogether.
This was a good idea for a film, but
ultimately, "The Fluffer" falls back down to earth after unearthing
its one-trick pony early on. But, this is still worth it for the
lines in the first half of the film.
*--how can I tell they were gay couples?
None of these couples used "guy
seating", the adolescent and ridiculous way that men separate
themselves by one seat during a showing of a film to "give
themselves more space." I have had other women jokingly call me
gay when I choose to sit right next to another guy at a movie,
so I know that women think the same way about this.
I counted at least four male twosomes
that were sharing an order of popcorn. Only couples share
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard