ANONYMOUS

NR
Reviews

A dead-end relationship with his boyfriend John (Dustin Schnell) drives Todd (Todd Verow), a bored movie-house manager, to seek anonymous sex in toilets and on the Internet. When John catches him going at it in his theatre men's room, he throws Todd out of their flat. Todd must live in his office, as his life spirals even more out of control.

Lead actor Verow also produced, directed and wrote Anonymous, which could be deemed a vanity project, except that what's presented is anything but pretty. Grittily shot on digital video, it's like every gay guy's worst nightmare of a life: What would happen if you didn't own the apartment lease, cheated on your lover, stole from work, let sex overcome your every breathing moment and eventually became homeless? Verow works overtime to imbue the story with alienation-fueled portent, but the grim seriousness often provides unintentional laughs. Beyond the full-frontal nudity and the humiliation he endures, there is also a lengthy sequence of Verow dancing--without music--that is downright embarrassing and encapsulates the enterprise's futility. And there's the inevitable question: Why should we even begin to care?

Anonymous is mostly indifferently acted, but good ole indie reliable Craig Chester briefly sparks things with a Kafkaesque turn as a tax inspector who really knows how to get paid. Sophia Lamarr appears, offering the startling, surgically enhanced face currently favored by some New York drag queens: a cross between the Bride of Wildenstein, Amanda LePore and Sophia Loren, were she composed of melting wax.

--David Noh