They’re private dancers, dancing for money, and they’ll do what you want them to do.
Somewhat like soft porn with a plot, “Have Love, Will Travel” takes us into the underground world of gentlemen’s entertainment. The movie operates like a how-to manual for getting started in the biz. Want to find an agency? Need to know what is and isn’t legal? Where to bludgeon an unruly client? This film provides the answers and if you take notes, you are well on your way to making some easy money.
Ah, but there’s always a catch. Turns out there’s a dark side to stripping your clothes off for h***y men. This is a lesson that newbies Whitney (Tae Davies) and Nathan (Chandler Rylko) soon find out. As a Denver girl who followed a boyfriend to the West Coast, Whitney struggles to make ends meet as a barista. Nathan, a fresh faced hunk out of Tampa, traveled to L.A. to make it as an actor, but money is running out and he’s yet to catch his big break. Enter Eve and Sonny, two savvy pros who mentor the duo and show them the tricks of the trade. Before long, Whitney and Nathan are raking it in as novice dancer and driver/bodyguard.
Director Dan Peterson’s movie benefits from an insider’s perspective. Drawing from his personal experience back in the day, Peterson provides the quirky anecdotal flavor that lends his film real credibility. However, the tone is inconsistent and the story swings wildly from zany sex romp to gritty realism, as if it can’t decide if it wants to be a farce or a documentary. Even though the movie suffers its share of problems, it hits its stride halfway through—enough so to keep you interested until the end.
All told, “Have Love, Will Travel” is, of course, a cautionary tale. The director adequately conveys the slippery moral slope of letting values become compromised by greed, but this is an obvious broad stroke. What’s missing is a nuanced analysis, a more sophisticated psychological explanation of this lifestyle. It seems a little on the nose to say it’s a bad idea to strip for tons of cash. Unless you need to pay rent. Or car insurance. Or students loans.
Wait, where did I put that number…..?