Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Going Down in La-La Land

A young Hollywood hopeful resorts to porn, and his lowered expectations match yours as you trudge through this latest gay—but really grim—offering by tireless auteur Casper Andreas.

April 18, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1329738-Going_Down_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

It’s once more time to cue up that Eagles’ chestnut “New Kid in Town” as fresh-faced Adam (Matthew Ludwinski) journeys to L.A. in search of fame and fortune. He rooms with his pal, eternally aspiring actress Candy (Allison Lane), and lands a receptionist job at a talent agency. But the poisonous attitude of his gay boss (Jesse Archer), but one of multitudes of this type in town, is unbearable, and he quits. Nick (Casper Andreas), a photographer he meets at the gym, clues him in to an office job with a porn company, "Jet Set Men." It isn’t long before Nick and the company’s owner, Ron (John Schile), are trying to coax squeaky-clean Adam into doing the nasty before the cameras.

Financially strapped, Adam consents and also does escort work, where he meets John (Michael Medico), the closeted star of a top-rated family sitcom. They click and John even hires Adam as his personal assistant, but the tabloid press gets wind of Adam’s X-rated performances, which put the kibosh on this beautifully budding romance.

With his Swedish tin ear for American idioms forever hampering his dialogue, Casper Andreas has become something of the Cecil B. DeMille of gay schlock, having already brought us such splashy yet lame queer epics as Slutty Summer, A Four Letter Word and The Big Gay Musical. This latest, gruesomely titled effort is superior to those screechy camp-fests and actually tells a story with moments of seriousness, but that still doesn’t mean it’s any much good. Adapted from a novel by Andy Zeffer, Going Down in La-La Land is rife with clichéd characters and situations, and tiresomely obvious and unfunny, if invariably vulgar, stabs at wit. Although set in the porn industry with dabs of sex and nudity, it’s also anything but sexy, and photographed with that dreary, unappetizing brownish lighting that screams L.A. indie. We’ve seen all of this before—in lousy straight movies as well as lousy gay ones (Showgirls springs to mind)—and the one element that could have possibly redeemed it—good, fresh performances—is entirely missing.

Ludwinski is, unfortunately, as bland as the young Wendell Corey and, while fetching enough, lacks the shut-the-front-door gorgeousness that would explain all of L.A. obsessing over him. Medico—although wholly unconvincing as any kind of sitcom dad—makes a fit mannequin-like mate for him. Andreas gives himself the most dramatic character arc as Nick spirals into crystal meth addiction, but, as facilely portrayed here, you simply do not care. Lane does ham on wry in what must be the 500th variant—although they’re always the same, really—on the protective, Eve Arden-ish fag-hag sidekick.

The cast is sprinkled with such Hollywood showbiz types as comedian Alec Mapa, as a truly vicious queen, and the aesthetically challenged Bruce Vilanch. An unrecognizable Judy Tenuta, sans accordion and floral headpiece, is briefly and bitterly effective as a bitchy beard for John who tries to stir up trouble.



Film Review: Going Down in La-La Land

A young Hollywood hopeful resorts to porn, and his lowered expectations match yours as you trudge through this latest gay—but really grim—offering by tireless auteur Casper Andreas.

April 18, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1329738-Going_Down_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

It’s once more time to cue up that Eagles’ chestnut “New Kid in Town” as fresh-faced Adam (Matthew Ludwinski) journeys to L.A. in search of fame and fortune. He rooms with his pal, eternally aspiring actress Candy (Allison Lane), and lands a receptionist job at a talent agency. But the poisonous attitude of his gay boss (Jesse Archer), but one of multitudes of this type in town, is unbearable, and he quits. Nick (Casper Andreas), a photographer he meets at the gym, clues him in to an office job with a porn company, "Jet Set Men." It isn’t long before Nick and the company’s owner, Ron (John Schile), are trying to coax squeaky-clean Adam into doing the nasty before the cameras.

Financially strapped, Adam consents and also does escort work, where he meets John (Michael Medico), the closeted star of a top-rated family sitcom. They click and John even hires Adam as his personal assistant, but the tabloid press gets wind of Adam’s X-rated performances, which put the kibosh on this beautifully budding romance.

With his Swedish tin ear for American idioms forever hampering his dialogue, Casper Andreas has become something of the Cecil B. DeMille of gay schlock, having already brought us such splashy yet lame queer epics as Slutty Summer, A Four Letter Word and The Big Gay Musical. This latest, gruesomely titled effort is superior to those screechy camp-fests and actually tells a story with moments of seriousness, but that still doesn’t mean it’s any much good. Adapted from a novel by Andy Zeffer, Going Down in La-La Land is rife with clichéd characters and situations, and tiresomely obvious and unfunny, if invariably vulgar, stabs at wit. Although set in the porn industry with dabs of sex and nudity, it’s also anything but sexy, and photographed with that dreary, unappetizing brownish lighting that screams L.A. indie. We’ve seen all of this before—in lousy straight movies as well as lousy gay ones (Showgirls springs to mind)—and the one element that could have possibly redeemed it—good, fresh performances—is entirely missing.

Ludwinski is, unfortunately, as bland as the young Wendell Corey and, while fetching enough, lacks the shut-the-front-door gorgeousness that would explain all of L.A. obsessing over him. Medico—although wholly unconvincing as any kind of sitcom dad—makes a fit mannequin-like mate for him. Andreas gives himself the most dramatic character arc as Nick spirals into crystal meth addiction, but, as facilely portrayed here, you simply do not care. Lane does ham on wry in what must be the 500th variant—although they’re always the same, really—on the protective, Eve Arden-ish fag-hag sidekick.

The cast is sprinkled with such Hollywood showbiz types as comedian Alec Mapa, as a truly vicious queen, and the aesthetically challenged Bruce Vilanch. An unrecognizable Judy Tenuta, sans accordion and floral headpiece, is briefly and bitterly effective as a bitchy beard for John who tries to stir up trouble.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

If You Don't., I Will
Film Review: If You Don't, I Will

Anemic drama about a forever-bickering couple who do not at all get along nor emit a scintilla of chemistry. It’s a disappointing, too-lean portrait of a marriage. More »

Mr. Turner
Film Review: Mr. Turner

In Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, arguably the year’s most gorgeous film, Timothy Spall etches an indelible portrait of the great painter, aided by a marvelous supporting cast who make the period spring alive. More »

Goodbye to All That
Film Review: Goodbye to All That

Angus MacLachlan’s debut feature is a small, skillfully made character piece that deftly weaves comedy and drama into an entertaining whole. More »

Song of the Sea
Film Review: Song of the Sea

A bratty boy and his mute, possibly magical sister journey through a world of fairies and wonders in this alluring selkie tale from the maker of The Secret of Kells. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Annie review
Film Review: Annie

Here’s an updated Annie for today’s entitled, tech-savvy and racially diverse generation of tweens who can easily relate to the new Annie’s love of luxurious toys. Their parents and other adults may miss the sweet innocence of the original, but they won’t be entirely bored by this frenetic new version of her classic story. More »

The H obbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Film Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After rewriting the rules for modern fantasy cinema, for the better and worse, Peter Jackson’s six-film Tolkien saga slams, bangs and shudders to a long-overdue conclusion. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here