Trick (1999) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

We disagreed on this one. Tuna found it very entertaining. Scoop couldn't get into it.

Tuna's notes in white:

Trick (1999) consists of a series of improbabilities. A new romantic musical comedy is a rare thing in itself these days. The fact that it is about two guys is even less probable. Then there is the fact that I enjoyed it very much, which I certainly wouldn't have predicted. Then there is a long topless scene from a woman (Lorri Bagley). And most improbable of all is a good performance from Tori Spelling as a hag fag wannabe actress who is the best friend of one of the guys.

Neve Campbell's brother Christian is the star. His character is "out", but shy and inexperienced. His ambition is to be a musical comedy writer. He has known Tori Spelling all his life. He lives in Manhattan with a testosterone driven straight roommate, and often finds himself sleeping in the hallway while his roomie entertains. One night he goes to a gay club, and, on the subway home, connects with a go go boy. They go to his apartment, but are interrupted by his roomie and Lorri Bagley. For the rest of the film, the two men struggle to find privacy as they get to know each other.

I did not see this as a gay film. The leads were so likable, and the emotions and situations so honest, that it was impossible not to root for them. When the two return to the apartment for missing keys, there is a lengthy topless scene from Bagley, as she practices her avocation of sex counselor with them.

Director Jim Fall is quoted as saying that he made this film for a gay audience. It is a tribute to the freshness and honesty of the script, excellent performances, and good directing that it has obvious crossover appeal. With a genre of approximately Musical, Romantic, Gay comedy, there should be one or more reasons for you to not expect to enjoy it. However, It is a wonderful little comedy that I think most will enjoy.

Scoop's notes in yellow:

The main gay character is a writer of musical comedies. The other gay guy is a go-go dancer.

Why the stereotypes? Can't these guys just be accountants and marketing consultants and insurance salesmen and construction workers and convenience store clerks, like everyone else?

Musical comedies? A male go-go dancer? Gimme a break.


  • Lorri Bagley does a long topless scene in bed with the gay guy's straight roommate.
I couldn't get into it at all. I didn't like the music, and I just plain wasn't interested in their world. That wasn't really related to their sexual orientation. I'm pretty sure I would have found the film just as trite if Christian Campbell had been a shy straight guy and his love interest had been a go-go girl. It isn't a bad movie by any means, but it is basically a 1950s-style Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie, except that Doris Day is played by a real guy instead of a pretend guy. (Too bad the Rockster wasn't born 40 years later. He would have enjoyed the love scenes a lot more.) I suppose it must be a fairly good movie because it did get a very solid 6.8 rating at IMDb, but it's a specialty market movie. Men rate it quite a bit higher than women do at IMDb, and I don't think those scores can generally be attributed to heterosexual males. The IMDb top 1000 raters, who provide a reliable and unbiased measurement of mainstream evaluation, score it 5.9, which seems about right to me.

Tori Spelling plays a best friend of one of the guys, in the role of a bad singer and actress, a part for which she brings impressive qualifications. She delivers a few laughs with empty, non-stop chatter until her character gets too annoying. The annoyance was not the fault of Tori, who delivered the role as written, but the fault of the writers, who just didn't know when the "annoying bad actress joke" was over. Strangely enough, during the movie the heroes encounter a drag queen who looks exactly like - no, not Judy Garland, but Tori Spelling!

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus out of four stars:    stars. James Berardinelli 3/4, Roger Ebert 2/4, BBC 3/5.

The People Vote ...

  • It grossed two million dollars in limited distribution.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "This must be a C+. Although I found it trite and uninvolving, it's considered a good niche movie. Don't rent the movie unless you can really get into a sensitive love story featuring two gay guys with plenty of gay supporting characters, plus a male Tori Spelling impersonator, and the real Tori Spelling." (Tuna B-)

Return to the Movie House home page