The Velocity Of Gary (Not His Real Name)

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

A tragic menage a trois forms the core of this heartfelt, passionately acted film, which is nearly derailed by the noisy peripheral goings-on. Porn star Valentino (Vincent D'Onofrio) is the love of waitress Mary Carmen's (Salma Hayek) directionless life; he also loves Gary (Thomas Jane), a small-town athlete turned NYC street hustler. Valentino would like...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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A tragic menage a trois forms the core of this heartfelt, passionately acted film, which is nearly derailed by the noisy peripheral goings-on. Porn star Valentino (Vincent D'Onofrio) is the love of waitress Mary Carmen's (Salma Hayek) directionless

life; he also loves Gary (Thomas Jane), a small-town athlete turned NYC street hustler. Valentino would like everyone to get along, but Gary and Mary Carmen tolerate each other at best. Everything changes when HIV+ Valentino develops AIDS. As he grows ever sicker, Mary Carmen and Gary are forced

to consider what they've made of their lives so far, and what they plan to do with their futures after Valentino dies. Adapted by first-time screenwriter James Sill from his own one-man theater piece, this doomed love story stands firmly in the tradition of MIDNIGHT COWBOY, driven by the corrosive

effects of street life and the fragile alliances that protect down-and-outers against an uncaring world. Unfortunately, its early scenes are a carnivalesque whirlwind of lowlife color: sassy transgendered hookers, a raunchy porn princess (Olivia D'Abo), horny johns, a wizened ex-ballerina and her

hopeless students, eccentric street people and a pathetic deaf drag queen (Chad Lindberg) who's madly in love with Gary and lip syncs — as badly as you'd imagine — to Patsy Cline. Once the noise dies down enough that you can concentrate on the characters, a nicely acted, three-way drama

is allowed to emerge. Leads Jane, D'Onofrio and Hayek throw themselves fearlessly into their roles (perhaps a little well-placed trepidation might have quieted Hayek down a bit, but that's a relatively minor complaint), and have a series of genuinely touching scenes together. The movie claims to

be "inspired by a true story," but its upbeat ending &#151 however cautious &#151 nonetheless feels hokey and contrived, as does the dedication to "hope."

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: A tragic menage a trois forms the core of this heartfelt, passionately acted film, which is nearly derailed by the noisy peripheral goings-on. Porn star Valentino (Vincent D'Onofrio) is the love of waitress Mary Carmen's (Salma Hayek) directionless life;… (more)

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