I suppose everyone knows what a fluffer is– if you don’t ask a friend. I think a fluffer’s job has to be very interesting but I wonder if you can make a living from it. But I digress.
“The Fluffer” (First Run Films) is the story of Sean, a young, inexperienced gay male who recently moved to the city of angels and is struggling to find his place in both his professional and personal life. One night while watching gay porn, he becomes infatuated with Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney) and he goes over to the studio that made the film and gets himself hired as a production assistant. Via the job he ends up on the set of a movie where he meets Johnny Rebel. Johnny was having a bit of trouble getting “it” up for a particular scene and he asks Sean for a little help. From this point on Sean has a little extra to do at work—he is Johnny’s fluffer. As his fluffer, Sean becomes obsessed with Johnny only to learn that Johnny has many demons of his own. He is straight and arrogant, egotistical and a user of crystal meth who lives with his stripper girlfriend, Julie.
When Julie gets pregnant, things go out of control. She wants the baby and Johnny is beginning his decline as a top porn star. Porn stars have short spans as top dogs as there is always someone younger and better equipped waiting in the wings to take the lead. “The Fluffer” gives us a look at the gay porn industry though the eyes of a photographer who becomes a fluffer. Sean is obsessed with a gay-for-pay straight porn actor whom he regards as perfection. With the pregnancy of his girlfriend and the start of his decline as a box office draw, the porn star sinks into a state of despair and drags Sean with him. Sean gains a skewed view of his idol and of his chance to have a meaningful relationship with him and the destruction that follows and the salvation afterwards is what this film is all about.
It is an interesting, well-acted film with complicated and interesting characters and is basically well done. Oscar material it is not. Johnny Rebel is a self-centered opportunist who can’t seem to get enough of anything. Once in a while he wants Sean and Sean is well aware of where he stands with Scott (Johnny Rebel is his screen name) but he can’t help himself.
You would think that a movie about fluffing would have some hot sex scenes. It doesn’t and there is no happy ending. Instead we have a look at unrequited love and the depths to which one will sink to try to get that love returned.
The only thing really sexy about the movie is the title. The guys in the movie are not so hot and the plot is a drawn out exercise in what could have been done in no more than a half an hour. It could have been so much better. Some of it works really well but after the first half the movie went downhill. I don’t know that I would watch it a second time but it was pleasant enough for a brief respite. Have a look and decide for yourself. But be warned—a classic, it is not.