Gerontophilia

Starring: Walter Borden, and a bunch of actors I hope we never see again
Directed By: Bruce La Bruce

Good lord. I had a feeling this movie would be either really awkward, but part of me thought it might also be an undiscovered gem. It’s really kind of an awful film. Look, I’m all for boundary pushing cinema. LIE is one of my Top 10 films. It’s literally a film about a pedophile who befriends a 15 year old boy. It was such a good movie that it launched the career of Paul Dano, and director Michael Cuesta went on to create Homeland. No one will survive this film. You will never hear from these actors again. It might have also killed the career of Canadian stage actor Walter Borden.

Why is Gerontophilia so awful? Am I just hating on a film because I don’t like the subject matter? Well, first of all, the acting is awful. On top of that, the writing is awful too. So, you have poorly committed actors spouting cardboard dialogue for 90 minutes and staring off into space because they really don’t know what’s going on. You have moments meant to be intentionally shocking, that really just are misplaced and awkward. Getting a boner after performing CPR, that awkward moment where he “finds the condom”. Come on bro, really?

The main character comes off mostly as some weird predator for most of the movie. By the time he gets into a real relationship with the old guy, it feels a little one sided. He has a girlfriend, who I don’t even understand. She’s some hyper-feminist who ends up subconsciously recreating the plot of Ghost World. He has a mom, who gets really excited when the guy she’s banging gives her some fuzzy dice for her car. REALLY? Is this 1990? And what woman would get excited about fuzzy dice? Even if you really fucking LOVED dice, like it was your spirit animal or something, and the guy gave you fuzzy dice… wouldn’t it still be a shitty gift?

Then she has this bizarre scene where she’s reaching for keys and falls down the stairs. Though because this film is super crappy and low budget, we don’t really see the fall. She’s just at the bottom of the stairs, and her leg looks like something out of the Walking Dead. No one bleeds that fast.

Awful actors throughout. The owner of the bookshop, the bartender, the nurse, everyone. I don’t know how they got cast. And poorly written scenes too. Like, the male nurse who’s like “lets be friends”, but we saw him being a douche… and we don’t see him again till he’s a douche again.

This whole film is centered around a young boy, with an awful name (Lake), played by an actor who needs more acting lessons before ever attempting to do anything like this again.

You can’t just go and make a provocative film and then be angry when people don’t like it. Let’s be clear, I don’t not like this film because the core plot is about a young guy who is attracted to a much older man. I’m not a fan of this film because it has no redeemable qualities, except perhaps Walter Borden, who has clearly been acting so long that he can make even the shittiest dialogue seem tolerable. He looks at his brain dead cast mates as if they are his equals, and it makes the scene better. He’s infinitely better than anything in this entire film, and has more talent than this film deserves. If the world was going to be introduced to Walter Borden, it needed to be in a different film. A better film.

It’s because of Walter that I’m not failing this film, though it really earned an F. One redeemable quality.

FINAL GRADE: D-

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