Thirty-one-year-old aspiring filmmaker Sebastian Cortez (writer-director Julien Hernandez) leaves his native New Jersey for Los Angeles, hoping to get over his failed relationship with Prozac-zombie Veronica (Gina Vetro) and to jump-start his career. Though love eludes him, Sebastian gets a gig making a trio of documentaries about gay relationships. The trouble is, he doesn't know any gay men, or so he thinks; it takes him the rest of the film to recognize the gay man in the mirror. In the meantime, Sebastian turns to his queen-bee friend Daria (Marisa Petroro), a soap opera star with lots of gay friends, including style-snob Michael (Seth Macari), anorexic Dante (Don Max), Eurotrash Pascal (Jonathan Zenz) and underendowed Paulie (Alex Douglas). They give him a crash course in gay lifestyles, pretensions, mannerisms and neuroses, and he starts seeing the world in a whole new way. Hernandez fills out the slim narrative with digressive flashbacks: Sebastian's sexual coming-of-age under the icy eye of a puritanical Cuban mama (including an unfortunate incident involving a banana); Daria's wild sexploits (including a pretty funny exploration of the term "bossy bottom"); Paulie's misadventures with a prosthetic "package" enhancer; Michael's adventures in speed-dating and more. Hernandez' slight, slick debut delivers a lot of style for what was clearly very little money, and it gets off its fair share of zingers at the expense of its cast of shallow, petty, sex-obsessed caricatures. But it treads such well-worn ground that you can't help but want a little more substance. As to the title, "Sex, Cigarettes & Cocktails" would more accurately describe the film's three major concerns. The politics get pretty short shrift, but cigarettes and liquor are everywhere.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: NR
- Review: Thirty-one-year-old aspiring filmmaker Sebastian Cortez (writer-director Julien Hernandez) leaves his native New Jersey for Los Angeles, hoping to get over his failed relationship with Prozac-zombie Veronica (Gina Vetro) and to jump-start his career. Thou… (more)