The key reason to search out Lauren Wolverton’s short comedy “Fashion Boy” is the wonderfully charming performance by Cheyenne Adamson as a young man who discovers an unlikely talent while pursuing an elusive young lady.
Adamson’s character is a goofball who musters up enough courage to make small talk to a hottie (Nichole Pellant) in a coffee shop. Seeking to break the ice, he comments on the copy of Vogue that the young lady is reading. She turns out to be a dancer and he gets carried away in claiming to be an aspiring designer. Before he knows it, he’s been commissioned to design her outfit for an upcoming salsa competition.
The key to “Fashion Boy” is the extended sequence when the guy needs to make good on his boast of being able to design clothing. Adamson’s brilliant bafflement in trying to turn his white lie into a red-hot creation needs to be appreciated by a wide audience: His slow-panic attempts to understand the intricacies of a Kenmore sewing machine, his fear in applying scissors to uncut fabric, and his utter frustration at his misshapen output – he holds the fabric up to a magazine and yells, “Be this!” – are wonderfully funny. It is easy to laugh at the guy’s problem, but you can’t help but ache for him. Adamson brings a subtle comic timing to his increasingly inane predicament, while his ultimate epiphany shines through in a genuinely offbeat moment of recognition.
The film, sadly, slips at with a flat cop-out ending that doesn’t quite wrap up the joy and energy of Adamson’s star turn. Nonetheless, “Fashion Boy” has more than enough good will and an amazing performance that makes its loose threads easy to forgive.