HBO Films,

Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds, Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula, Paul Reiser, Nicky Katt, Tom Papa, Deborah Lacey

Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) is a young bi-sexual man, who once introduced to the “fabulous” Liberace (Michael Douglas) starts hanging out with him to enjoy the lavish lifestyle. But quickly he goes from assistant to romantic interest, and the two find themselves in a tight bond. Scott eventually finds being hid behind the scenes and not being allowed to go out anywhere (Liberace knew he would lose everything if anyone actually found out he was gay, even though it was so obvious), and he struggles to find some space, but when Liberace finds a new boy toy, and kicks Scott out, Scott files a lawsuit to try to get back what he thinks he deserves in this TV (HBO) documentary.

I remember watching Liberace as a small kid, on the little black and white TV in our living room. I grew up with his master piano performances which were outshone by his outlandish overboard flamboyancy. The trouble with this film is that Liberace is not Liberace, but Michael Douglas trying to act like Liberace. Though he really did a good job of impersonating him, this particular character is so far over the top, that I don’t think anybody on earth could make me believe he was Liberace. He is so unique, that the entire way through the film, it really bothered me. But even more, even though I do not know Scott Thorson (although I was familiar with the story as it was all over the news), I do know Matt Damon, and I never lost the fact that I was looking at Matt Damon and Michael Douglas playing gay lovers, and I couldn’t ever suspend belief and follow the story. It would almost have been a better documentary if they used old footage and told the story with a narrator. Ok, I probably don’t mean that, but it’s really hard to play someone so unique and outrageous and make it believable. The story is not that riveting, that it pulls you in, so the film suffers due to this. It’s an interesting character for sure, but Scott is another matter. This is his story, and he’s not very likeable. I just didn’t get into the portrayal of Scott, and I feel like I don’t really know the story,even after watching this. I’m sure the real guy is much different than Matt Damon.

In any event, it was a fair docu-drama, and the extravagance of Lee’s lifestyle is well displayed. Also, Lee’s mother was a huge influence in his life, and she wasn’t given a great part in this movie, probably because she was not near as important to Scott as to Liberace himself. But Debbie Reynolds play his mom, and she was so good at it, that she was dead and buried before I realized it was actually Debbie Reynolds in great makeup with a good fake accent. Her part, though small, shined in the film. This is a “take it or leave it” film. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, and I doubt it will be a huge hit in the DVD rental market, but on the other hand, if you’re interested in the story, or if it’s replayed on TV, you could do much worse than this dramatized documentary of the life of one of the boy lovers of one of the greatest showmen and pianists ever.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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