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BOYS' NIGHT OUT

BROADWAY show references zip through the gay romantic comedy "Trick" with the clunkiness of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Written by Jason Schafer and directed by Jim Fall, "Trick" is a cliche-ridden boy-meets-boy love story that's set during a single night in the Big Apple.

Gabriel, played by Christian Campbell (Neve's brother), is a mild-mannered office worker -- an alienated Every-gay who dreams of writing musical comedies even though he admits to his best pal Katherine (Tori Spelling) that "Musicals are way too contrived, phony and stupid."

After a particularly disastrous musical workshop tryout, Gabriel comforts himself by going to a bar. While there he spots Mark (John Paul Pitoc), a go-go boy with the body of an Adonis and the IQ of denim.

Obstacles to the couple's happiness include a humorlessly bitter drag queen and a thoughtless hetero roommate and his girlfriend who gives Gabriel sexual advice with the abandon of Dr. Ruth. A bubbly and slightly clueless "fag hag," a gay cabaret performer and the bustling city itself complete the lineup of usual suspects.

As the night becomes wilder -- and the possibility of Gabriel and Mark having a one-night stand seems to dim -- the boys realize they're actually falling in love.

Structurally, "Trick" owes a debt to Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," though the subtext isn't as dark. The movie imposes its Doris Day story line on material that wants to be more sexual but settles for gay stereotypes that loom larger than a drag queen's swagger.

The main problem with the film is that it amounts to nothing more than a patchwork of queer types, stereotypes and unfunny jokes. To watch Spelling sing tunelessly and dance with the grace of a boulder compounds the agony.

Movie
Trick
Rating: *
Christian Campbell in a gay coming-of-age story.
Rated R, now playing in area theaters.

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