110 minutes | Unrated
Opened: Friday, August 28, 1998
Written & directed by Victor Mignatti

Starring Mara Hobel, Michael Shawn Lucas, Aaron Williams & Hugo Panaro

This film is on the Worst of 1998 list.
Failed post-college comedy banking on loyal gay audience instead of talent

"Broadway Damage" is an amateurish, under-rehearsed, low budget calamity, dogged by the callow, shallow flavor of a student film by a aspiring auteur who is about to get an F.

Starring a no-name, friends-of-the-director cast who did little more than memorized their lines, "Damage" is the uninspired story of three recent NYU grads looking for jobs, love and apartments in The Village as they enter the real world after college.

Two of them (Michael Shawn Lucas and Aaron Williams) are aspiring gay actors with anemic personalities and lots of pent up frustration from unrequited love.

Mara Hobel plays their plump, materialistic Long Island gal pal who lives off daddy's credit cards while she stalks uber-editor Tina Brown seeking a job without any marketable skills (she can't even type).

The picture looks like it was made for about four dollars and change, and attempts to breed "Jeffrey"-like comedy and sympathy from the thinnest of characters and dimwit dialogue. It doesn't have a plot so much as an unconnected stream of prefabricated episodes that happen to involve these three people.

Marc (Lucas), a very fairy Jim Carrey look-alike, falls in love with a hustler/Michael Bolton wanna-be (warning: his "original songs" are peppered throughout the movie). Meanwhile Robert (Williams) a cross between Bud Cort in "Harold and Maude" and a gay Woody Allen, secretly fawns for Marc.

Marc and Cynthia (Hobel) fight over whose turn it is to do dishes. Marc and Robert both bomb in auditions for off-Broadway shows (it's hard to tell if the characters are supposed to be bad actors, or if the actors are just bad actors, but I'm guessing the latter). Cynthia has a nervous breakdown. Blah, blah, blah.

"Is this going anywhere at all?" I wrote in my notes when I screened this movie. "How much longer can this go on?"

The sad thing is, it's a very sincere effort. Writer-director Victor Mignatti, ironically an NYU film school drop out, really put his heart into this picture, and as bad as it is, it's the best he could do.

Released by a very small distributor simply hoping to gather an audience based on its gay themes, "Broadway Damage" is a very poor pretender to the gay romantic comedy genre that "Jeffrey" and "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" exemplify so well.

powered by FreeFind
SPLICEDwire home
Online Film Critics Society
All Rights Reserved
Return to top
Current Reviews
SPLICEDwire Home