THE VIRILE MAN Image

THE VIRILE MAN

By admin | February 24, 2004

This Slamdance award winner tells the story of Gary, a man questioning his sexuality. Surrounded by his perfect family and professional success, Gary retreats to the privacy of his closet to phone a psychic hotline for support. My first thought was, do they still have those numbers? After Miss Cleo got sued for hundreds of millions you haven’t heard much from them. You don’t even see poor Dion Warwick selling this kind of thing anymore. You also would have thought that Gary would be better served by a friend or psychologist, but oh well, Gary’s desperate.
Gary goes on to tell the psychic that despite having sexual relations with a friend at his office, that he’s not actually gay. Fishing for reassurance, Gary tells her that he was a great athlete in high school and that he’s slept with many women. On cue, the psychic replies that the cards say he isn’t gay. On the contrary, he is clearly a very virile man.
Interestingly, the filmmaker’s web site refers to Gary’s “. . . hilariously deadpan denial.” I’m not sure what they mean by this statement. There is no way “Virile Man” can be considered a comedy. So, are we supposed to be laughing at Gary’s attempts while we feel his pain? God knows.
David Zeller does a fine job in the lead role and almost pulls off this absurd cliché to end all clichés. But a gay man in a closet questioning his sexuality? Come on, “Will & Grace” wouldn’t even go there.

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