Sneaky Cow // 2009 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // October 21st, 2009
Boy meets boy...boy gets girl.
The premise of Under the Gaydar is that if a straight guy pretends to be homosexual he'll attract more girls. Hmmm! On the surface this might make sense considering gay guys are better groomed, have a flair for fashion, and are generally more sensitive than their straight counterparts. But there is a major problem considering most girls don't want to lose a guy to another guy, and even a pretend gay guy is going to attract a lot more guys when cruising West Hollywood. It's a dumb urban myth that a straight guy can get laid by acting like he likes men, but it's one legend heterosexual men seem to cling to in locker rooms and beer joints across the country.
It's not like Under the Gaydar is attempting to be subtle or sophisticated, it's quite proud of its straight boy fantasy roots. Porn legend Ron Jeremy makes a cameo in a strip club, so you know you're not exactly in classy territory. The basic plot is that Darren (Arthur Gadsby, Last Rights) is a young guy living in Los Angeles who has found he likes pretending he is gay so that he gets all the girls. He takes all of this so far that he even has his distraught parents believing his sexual identity lie. Mom and dad hire a girl (Michelle LaFrance, Dynamite Swine) who has made a business out of "turning gay boys straight." She claims to be good at this, and she better be considering she is charging $20,000 to turn a queer eye in to a straight one. So she goes after Darren, and is surprised at how easy her money seems to be this time. But complications crop up like his pretend gay boyfriend who may not be acting so much, and a whole string of ex-gay clients who have an obsession with the high-priced gay boy turner.
I'm not sure whether to laugh or be offended by this film. In essence it is thankfully making being gay a "no big deal" issue, but at the same time it is belittling and mocking what it is like to come out to parents who can't quite accept a queer son. Course all of my angst about whether or not to call in the watchdogs of GLADD is moot when we consider the film doesn't quite work as a comedy. It's not funny, and in the end that makes it offensive and not all that interesting. It is poorly acted, badly edited, and has a story that makes little sense. If it had been handled with smarts, the film could have been dangerous and edgy. But thanks to some major bungling, it is limp and ineffective.
DVD Verdict was sent a screener for review purposes, so I cannot evaluate final product or the quality of the transfer. The copy we got had a grain riddled transfer with muted colors and a "For Screening Purposes Only" crawl along the bottom. No extras were seen on the screener. Sound seemed off, and so did the visual presentation. Perhaps all of that will be fixed for the store shelves.
I applaud the idea that sexuality is no big deal, but a bad film is simply a bad film. Under the Gaydar could be edgy funny stuff if they had figured out a way to make a guy playing gay actually humorous rather than cringe-worthy. This one was painful with very little to redeem it. I will admit the actors all look good, and I liked seeing the locations around Los Angeles. Unfortunately that's about all the good I can squeeze out for this one. Any straight guy who fantasizes about all the girls gay guys get will appreciate this one, but everyone else? Never gonna buy it.
Guilty of being offensive and poorly made, Under the Gaydar is
sentenced to sensitivity training and comedy school.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Sneaky Cow
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* View the Trailer