Film

Film

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Plopped in a world where Silver Lake’s hillside sign competes with Hollywood’s and men are mostly juicy gym boys, Straight-Jacket offers up a super-queered, tinny 1950s, one that plays loose and preachy with the Passion of Rock Hudson. Guy Stone (Matt Letscher)—a chiseled, closeted star who has made hay with seemingly every muscle daddy on Santa Monica—is all set to play Ben-Hur when he’s swept up in a gay-bar raid. His agent (Veronica Cartwright) quashes the story by setting him up with a beard (Carrie Preston), only to have Guy fall hard for a writer (Adam Greer) who turns him from callow cruiser to a Gandhi fan who mumbles about participating in his own oppression. Jacket‘s shrill, Necco-colored sets and distractingly awful CGI long shots almost mask the movie’s real coup: Letscher’s physique. A marvelously beefy, smoothly realized casing that actually looks like Hudson’s or Kirk Douglas’s, it basks in its natural abundance while displaying no modern anabolic ripples. His torso deserves its own title card. The gamest one here is Cartwright, emitting endless dignity despite flat in-jokes and being framed atop a toilet.