With Friends Like These...

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Holding Trevor
Directed by Rosser Goodman

Yet another gay flick, which translates to: yet another turbulent gay romance; yet another supporting gay character who sleeps around too much; yet another fag hag clutching a Cosmo. But in Holding Trevor, thereís a depressed form of anger bubbling beneath the surface. Trevor (screenwriter Brent Gorski) seems incapable of making a decision. His boyfriend Darrell (Christopher Wylie) is a strung-out addict, and while they may have broken up, Trevor remains unable to cut the ties that bind them togetherónot even when the ER doctor who admits Darrell one night after an overdose turns out to be the hunky Ephram, who pursues Trevor with all the ardency that the sedentary Trevor lacks. Working at an answering service in L.A., and content to come home at night to his roommate Andie (Melissa Searing) and friend Jake (Jay Brannan), Trevorís life is a study in stasis. Heís even too terrified of change to realize that Andie and Jake operate more as frenemies than as actual friends, never missing an opportunity to undermine him.

Strangely, however, the friendship between Andie, Jake and Trevor is what separates Holding Trevor from the rest of the mediocre gay movie pack. While Ephram and Jakeís rocky relationship is numbingly predictable, Searing, Brannan and Gorski turn their scenes into an uncomfortable concoction of simmering resentments, double-edged teases, and lonely desperation. While Gorski may have intended their banter to be light and fun (which would have resulted in the same strained sense of badinage that envelops every scene between a fag and his hag in low-budget gay indies), the three actorsí flat tones and blunt sense of comedic timing turns their dialogue into painful fights for dominance. Even as Trevor wonders aloud if he should move across the country with Ephram, Jake interrupts to ask if his popsicle turned his tongue blue, which doesnít come across as a defense mechanism so much as boredom made bitchy.

But while Brannanís Jake has a few choice lines and a musical career that allows him to sing a semi-applicable song over a montage, itís Searingís Andie who turns into a full-fledged monster. When she finds out that sheís HIV-positive during a moral support trip for the slutty Jake, she mutters to her doctor that if anyone should have it, Jake should. Later, she blackmails Trevor into not abandoning their stagnant, repellant life together for the possibility of a healthier one with Ephram by finally coming clean about her status.

And although Ephram is a doctor who says all of the right things at the right time, how can he possibly compete with a house filled with drama, backbiting and bitchiness? He canít, and so Trevor decides to stay behind to pull his life together. How heís going to accomplish that with emotional vampires like Jake and Andie sucking the little life force he has running through his veins remains unclear as the final credits roll, but despite Trevorís hopeful closing monologue, the outcome doesnít look good. After watching him reject the chance for real happiness again and again over the course of 80-odd minutes, feeling any sort of sympathy or respect for his decision to let Ephram move to New York alone is almost impossible. Especially once Trevor himself admits that other than Andie and Jake, he has no real reason to stay in L.A. Friends may be great,Trev, but an adorable doctor whoís in love with you is in money in the bank.

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