It doesn’t take lengthy earlier than Down Low rises to the event. Literally. Within the primary couple of minutes of director Rightor Doyle’s (Bonding) fabulous but frenetic farce, Gary, a tortured soul, preps for his first erotic homosexual therapeutic massage with Kory, who casually slathers oil over the person’s physique whereas classical music performs on. Things shortly flip weird, setting the tone for the outlandish antics to comply with on this saucy but surprisingly charming movie.
“I’m sorry,” whines Kory, a fiercely self-entitled Gen-Z hipster. “This music is triggering me. Can I change it to something less traumatic? Sounds like I was getting off at a funeral.” A beat. “You have a dope house by the way. It’s sexy.”
So is Down Low. It’s the quirkiest homosexual comedy in years and a hell of a whole lot of enjoyable if you happen to can forgive that it is as deep as a demitasse. Think of Down Low as homosexual cousin to Bridesmaids, Neighbors, and The Hangover. Zachary Quinto delivers a wonderful flip right here as Gary, a troubled middle-ager in search of a “first time” homosexual expertise. Meanwhile, White Lotus hero Lukas Gage (Euphoria, You) performs Kory — purposely spelled with a Ok — who pushes Gary to the restrict. It’s all enjoyable and “here Zaddy, let’s get you set up on a gay hook-up app” till any individual dies. And that’s when the enjoyable begins.
A Different Kind Of Male Bonding
Lukas Gage co-wrote Down Low with Phoebe Fisher, one of many writers behind TV’s I Know What You Did Last Summer. LGBTQ audiences will relish the raunchy humor right here. It’s a coin toss whether or not mainstream audiences will probably be as feverishly invested. Bros, the distinctive homosexual rom-com from 2022, did not seize maintain of the field workplace despite the fact that it was one of many smartest comedies of the yr. Down Low is not that sensible, however it’s intelligent, and it’s straightforward to love, regardless of how typically it flutters round at a frantic tempo, amused by its personal audacious artistic thrusts.
When Kory, who finally admits his actual title is Cameron, realizes that the “massage” marks Gary’s first time with one other man, it’s time to course of. The two chat it up on the sofa in Gary’s lavish property that includes, amongst different issues, an enormous if not garish portrait of Gary and his household. Gary shares his divorce backstory then proceeds to drop a bombshell on the sex-positive twink. Quickly tossing the boo-hoo baton apart, Cameron insists that Gary have some enjoyable. Gary is not so positive. One arrange on a homosexual hook-up app later — it’s referred to as Plunger, of us — and shortly, there’s a masculine “down low” dude knocking on the entrance door. It’s Pretty Woman with a twist for occasion boy Cameron.
“You’re not gay until you’ve hooked up with somebody on an app who looks nothing like their picture,” Cameron quips. But the liaison with the “straight” man (Sebastian Arroyo) takes a horrible flip when Cameron will get too mouthy — no pun meant. In a match of misunderstandings, the stranger unintentionally stumbles out of the second-floor window. Poor man. And poor Gary. This is a heck of a option to be initiated into homosexual relationship and hook-ups. The comedy takes a enjoyable darkish flip right here as Gary and Cameron work out a option to get rid of the physique.
The Actors Seize the Moment
One of essentially the most refreshing issues about Down Low is that’s by no means performs right down to its viewers. Lukas Gage is as sharp as an actor as he’s a author. Likable throughout, he is obtained spunk and it electrifies the display — and the web page. He infuses Cameron with a snarky, self-entitled edge. Cameron is aware of himself. More importantly, he is aware of find out how to take command and survive. He’s the right foil for Quinto’s understated Gary, who’s sunken right into a pit of despair over his previous.
Quinto seizes the second, nonetheless. And boy, is it good to see this actor not in a Ryan Murphy manufacturing the place the characters he’s usually given to play, particularly in American Horror Story, are off-putting and carried out manner too far excessive. Quinto is an effective actor. Let’s see him in additional grounded performances. Funny, with all of the nuttiness going on this movie, it is shocking that Quinto so properly captures the person Gary has change into, and maybe nonetheless could be, with Cameron’s assist.
Cue: musical sequence. Yes. There is a type of in Down Low. Thankfully, it doesn’t distract from the plot. About that… B-players pop in right here and there. Sandy (Judith Light), an Ambien’d Christian neighbor, instantly exhibits up on the entrance door, placing a kink in Gary and Cameron’s plan to get rid of the physique. This bit works for some time however tends to overstay its welcome. Still, finest to glide right here. This is a darkish comedy.
Another character, much more disturbed, is Simon Rex in a Simon Rex function. The fella could possibly assist Gary and Cameron get rid of the physique. Suddenly, the movie turns into even darker. Still, it’s enjoyable to observe Quinto, Gage, and Rex play issues out, and Rex’s gruff, cocksure persona provides Gage lots to work off of. Best to save lots of a few of these surprises for your self.
The Dialogue Is Sharp and Funny
It’s a welcome pleasure to expertise the type of dialogue present in Down Low. Bottom line: It’s scrumptious, and many of the intelligent one-liners spew from Cameron. “The only thing better than my dad being gay is him being a Reiki master.” Or “I am like human poppers. I open everyone up.” At one level, Cameron finds one thing Gary’s ex-wife (Audra McDonald) mailed to him and apparently to all their shut mates. It’s a cultured save-the-date-like card with “my-husband-wound-up-being-gay-and-we’re done!” vibes. Cameron is fast to inform Gary: “Oh, it’s a eulogy for the straight you.”
Just if you imagine the movie has wrapped issues up and able to tie all the things into a pleasant fairly bow, the final quarter-hour will shock you. It’s so dangerous, it’s good. And darkish. But that’s what you get with Down Low. Writer Lucas Gage and Phoebe Fisher are savvy sufficient to know who their viewers is and by no means water issues down. It could also be geared to the LGBTQ neighborhood, however the antics are common and can enchantment to mainstream audiences. There’s additionally a sure enjoyment of not holding again, and baring all, because it had been. Perhaps that is Gary’s problem throughout. To free himself.
Bawdy, daring, and enjoyable, Down Low provides loads of laughs — and a few coronary heart, due to Quinto and Gage’s sharp performances and the amusing premise. So, what the hell. Swipe proper on this one.
Down Low is offered on Prime Video and different streaming platforms.