Don’t Be a Stranger, Silly

All I can say after seeing Stranger by the Lake, the third and so far the worst of Inside Out’s Four-Play series, is that it sure is difficult to make the naked male form look good. Bare butts, erect cocks, rim jobs, blow jobs and lots and lots of plain old nudity and still this thing has all the pop and sizzle of a limp weenie. Gay men come and go at a lake-side cruising ground in the south of France, displaying a bizarre sangfroid and a complete lack of personality. Scenes drift. Characters remain undeveloped. And the direction displays a deadly dedication to reality. With its dragged-out scenes and repetitious narrative, it conveys all the tedium of cruising and absolutely none of the thrill. By the end of the flick you will have recognized every glance, grope and rebuff in the repertoire, but learned precisely nothing new. The moral, I think, has something to do with the murderous intensity of love, but I’m not buying it. Billed as noir, this is more like beige. Best moment of the night came when one of the audience members mocked the hero’s final lugubrious line. That at least was funny.



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