THE TRIP

Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

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"I don’t want you to be with me because of some drunken encounter," says the liberal and loose Tommy (Steve Braun) to uptight conservative Alan (Larry Sullivan) as the sexual tension between the pair rises at the onset of writer-director Miles Swain’s romantic dramedy.

"Look, I’m not a fag like you!" responds Alan.

But Alan is a fag like Tommy, and lucky for him, he realizes it in the nick of time. So begins the story of a relationship between two young men that starts in the ’70s, and follows them through a decade of love, bliss, pain, hurt and abandonment before one of the characters succumbs to AIDS.

The Trip makes for agreeable entertainment until it stumbles midway through into soap-operatic briar patch, as a lonely, bitter old queen’s romantic manipulations tear the two lovers apart. Luckily, there’s a third act set in the Mexican desert that pulls the movie back into dramatic play.

The supporting cast — which includes yet another insufferable turn from that genital wart of gay cinema, Alexis Arquette — is filled with actors you kinda, sorta recognize from years ago: an over-the-top Jill St. John as Alan’s mother; Ray Baker as that bitter old tart; Julie Brown as a perky receptionist; and even a cameo from David Mixner as David Mixner. It’s like an episode of The Love Boat, but without Fred Grandy for comic support.

The movie rests on the shoulders of Braun and Sullivan, both of whom play valiantly against the badly designed period wigs they’re forced to wear. These two light up the screen with their interplay, their bickering, and ultimately their tender adoration for one another. The chemistry they share is reason enough for taking this Trip. — RS

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