Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Going Down in LA-LA Land

Casper Andreas makes his fourth appearance at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival with his latest film Going Down in LA-LA Land.  Set and shot in Los Angeles, it has a well developed story and the look and feel of a Hollywood blockbuster.  Based on the novel of the same title written by Andy Zeffer, the film follows the journey of a young man who moves from New York to pursue his acting dreams in Los Angeles, but along the way falls into the world of gay porn and escorting, only to find true love before the final reel.

Adam arrives in Los Angeles, a little impressionable, only to be greeted by his opportunistic and somewhat jaded friend Candy, who's been trying to make her mark on the acting world with limited success.  Candy has a fiance who has been supporting her endeavors.  Adam is not so fortunate and goes on a series of interviews for jobs, signs up for temp work, and eventually lands a job as a receptionist at a talent agency.  

The job does not last long due to his mildly OCD boss pushes him over the edge, and a chance meeting at the local gym with freelance photographer/director/editor Nick, who helps Adam land a job at porn company Jet Set Men as an office assistant.  Adam's boss Ron is very happy with his work but is always encouraging him to appear in front of the camera.  Eventually  Adam agrees to do a single nude modeling photo shoot for Ron, but only if Nick is the photographer.  Sparks begin to fly at the photo shoot, and Adam and Nick wind up dating.

After Candy and her finance break up, she has no choice but to raise Adam's rent, and so begins escalating his descent into the adult entertainment world.  First Adam agrees to do a solo scene with Nick as the photographer, which eventually leads to a full-on porn film, and peaks with Adam becoming one of Ron's secret high end discrete escorts.

As Adam's life becomes more complex, Nick's recreational drug use escalates.  Adam reaches his breaking point when Nick takes him to a party at an influential film producers home, only to find Nick having sex with the host of the party.  But Adam's single life does not last long, as he becomes romantically involved with his next escorting client.

John is a major star on a family friendly TV series and in the closet.  John whisks Adam away from his porn/escort work and offers him a job not only as his boyfriend, but as his personal assistant.  Unfortunately Adam's former boss turns up like a bad penny and tips off the tabloids that Adam used to do gay porn and the suspicions that John and Adam are more than just employer/employee begin.

John needing to protect his image lets Adam go both as his personal assistant and boyfriend, and Adam prepares to head Miami for a fresh start.  In a true Hollywood ending though, John realizes his love for Adam is more important than any career fall-out, and the two drive off into the sunset with Candy staying behind to talk to the tabloids and cash in on her fifteen minutes of fame.

As with his previous films, Casper Andreas has created a story that draws you in and makes you genuinely feel for the characters struggles and hope that they will overcome then.  While we see Adam go through what may be a typical Hollywood story in terms of doing anything to get by, he does not lose sight that in the end, love is far more important than any amount of career success. When John comes to realize this as well, the audience is left with a sense that even in Hollywood, a fairy tale ending is possible.

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