March 20, 2009

Rewind: Mr. Wonderful


Director: Toby Ross.
Cast: Tom Law, Carl Loomis, Kevin Gladstone, Everett Storm, Red Ryder, James O’Brian, Steve Philips, Dennis Reilly, Dennis Anderson, Monroe Perry, Tom James, Brad Richardson, Matt Houston.

Tom Law plays a wide-eyed Kansas guy who moves to New York City in this reissue of director Toby Ross’s 1987 classic Mr. Wonderful. The plot unfolds in vignettes in which Law works a day job (sadly, in the World Trade Center), rides the graffiti-covered subway and cruises for his ideal man. In a racy voice-over, Law describes how he places a personal ad in the paper to meet guys who pose for him as a photographer. There’s the married trucker who won’t show his face (Tom James) and the kinky brothers (Everett Storm and Monroe Perry) who wear black leather and whip each other. But Law only has eyes for his co-worker (Carl Loomis), whom he lands in the final scene.

The transfer here is truly awful—with fuzzy and grainy picture quality and muffled sound—but the moody photography and gritty realism of late-’80s NYC are beautifully captured. And Law, in his oversize Clark Kent glasses, is a real charmer, working the camera in close-up and making us feel like we’re part of his adventure as he wanders through the Ramble in Central Park. There’s a great, natural quality to the models, and Ross shoots them using different film stocks and creative camera angles, making this an arty trip back in time. (Bijou Video)

Reprinted from GAYVN magazine (2008)

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