The Fluffer

Less ambitious in scope than BOOGIE NIGHTS, which imagines the porn industry as a microcosm of American ambition and capacity for self-delusion, Richard Glatzer and Wash West's feature also weaves together the stories of a cross-section of characters who work in the adult film business. Aspiring filmmaker Sean McGinnis (Michael Cunio) has just moved to Los...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Less ambitious in scope than BOOGIE NIGHTS, which imagines the porn industry as a microcosm of American ambition and capacity for self-delusion, Richard Glatzer and Wash West's feature also weaves together the stories of a cross-section of characters who work in the adult film business. Aspiring filmmaker Sean McGinnis (Michael Cunio) has just moved to Los Angeles in hopes of getting into the business. Imagine his disappointment when he rents CITIZEN KANE, only to find that the video store has given him a gay porn movie called Citizen Cum instead. But Sean's first glimpse of Johnny Rebel (Scott Gurney) more than makes up for the mistake. Enchanted by the studly personality (to call him an actor would be a stretch), Sean does a little research and then offers his professional services to porn production company Men of Janus. He's hired as a cameraman, despite sales manager Chad Cox's (Robert Walden, of TV's Lou Grant) concern about his lack of adult-film experience. Soon Sean is on the set with Johnny, and quickly discovers that his dream hunk isn't what he expected. For one thing, Johnny swears he's straight and only does gay porn because the money's better for men than it is in straight smut. Johnny has a stripper girlfriend named Babylon (Roxanne Day), who loyally bails him out of the trouble he gets into with monotonous regularity. How can she resist a guy whose repertory of sweet nothings includes, "When I need wood, I think of you"? Thoughts of Babylon notwithstanding, when Johnny has on-set performance problems, he asks Sean to help out (that's what "fluffing" is), and Sean happily obliges. Though Babylon and Johnny both swear they're going to get out of the sex business, neither seems able to break away, and soon Sean has been sucked in as well. His social life revolves around porn industry-related events, partly because he wants to be near Johnny and partly because he's seduced by the self-contained industry's sense of community. As Johnny's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Sean must confront his obsession and ask how far he's willing to go in its pursuit. Screenwriter and co-director West — who works in gay porn — evinces an easy and even-handed familiarity with the milieu, and his characters only occasionally lapse into broad caricature. The film is studded with cameos by real-life porn filmmakers, and features a small but effective appearance by Deborah Harry, playing a strip-club owner.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Less ambitious in scope than BOOGIE NIGHTS, which imagines the porn industry as a microcosm of American ambition and capacity for self-delusion, Richard Glatzer and Wash West's feature also weaves together the stories of a cross-section of characters who w… (more)

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