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Based on several short stories by writer Bruce LeBruce, SUGAR is a provocative, challenging and bizarrely funny coming of age love story. Cliff (Andre Noble), a homosexual teen on the verge of turning 18, is restless in his sheltered suburban life, and anxious to have his first sexual experience. Armed with a bottle of vodka and a joint, Cliff goes downtown looking for some action, and meets up with Butch (Brendan Fehr), a hunky street hustler. In the company of Butch, Cliff's eyes are opened to a world of gay sex, drugs, prostitution, and life on the street, but Cliff soon learns that to taste the sugar of life is to experience the bittersweet.
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Top customer reviews
her and I rented this from blockbuster. I've been tryin to torrent it for years, there are 2 torrents in all of the inter webs and neither of them will download. Thank you very much for a trip down memory lane. For the "used" or "as is" quality that your basically warning described, it works perfect! I wasn't looks no for the cover or the box I was looking for the movie. This was the first gay movie I ever watched. Thanks again so much!!!!!!!
One thing that's constant, however, is the collective opinion of Brendan Fehr's mind-blowing performance.
Most people know him from "Roswell", or from the bit parts and ensemble roles he's had in would-be blockbusters ("Biker Boyz") and forgettable thrillers and horror flicks ("The Forsaken", "Christina's House"). Clearly, not the best vehicles to showcase any hidden chops. His work on Roswell often overshadowed leading man Jason Behr, and he has done some little-seen projects that really hinted at a bright future - "Edge of Madness," while not a great movie by any means, made you sit up and watch him.
"Sugar" makes it impossible for you to ignore him.
It's well-casted in general. The late Andre Noble is charming, convincingly wide-eyed and earnest. Maury Chaykin and Sarah Polley have memorable cameos. Haylee Wanstall is a natural. But it's Fehr's film, from beginning to end.
The movie isn't dialogue-heavy. It lets pointed looks and charged silences do a lot of the talking. And it takes an actor with a certain strength, a tangible presence, to pull off, without crossing the line into smarmy or just plain ridiculous. It's one of those roles that teeters on a razor's edge - the balance is so delicate, any wrong move could make the whole thing crash and burn.
What's impressive, and ultimately heart-breaking to watch, is that he's able to portray such a flawed character so flawlessly. Every note is pitch-perfect. The easy, cocky control Butch exudes in the beginning, that morphs into a downward spiral of self-destruction, could have been easily mishandled in the hands of another actor. But Fehr slides from one end of the spectrum to the other, seemingly effortlessly, grabbing the audience and yanking them along for the painful ride. The tenderness in his scenes with Noble, the determination in his encounters with clients, the easy comic timing, even the genuine kinship in his onscreen moments with Wanstall... none of that can be taught. By the time the film reaches its conclusion, he's taken you from Butch's early, confident smirk to a lost soul's broken tears and haunted eyes, and you're not watching Brendan Fehr, actor. He's become this character, and given us a glimpse at this kid's tragic life.
Perhaps therein lies the flaw in "Sugar." Once Butch fades to black, you're no longer engrossed. While I'm sure the ending was meant to illustrate how he'd influenced this suburban teenager's life, perhaps changed it for the better... Butch is one of those characters, and performances, that lingers, and stays with you long after the running time is over. And as the ending unfolded, all it did was anger me on behalf of the character I'd spent the entire movie watching, discarded and forgotten too soon.
BUT HE LEARNS THE EXTREME HARD WAY THAT MONEY AND DRUGS FAR OUTWEIGH FRIENDSHIP WHEN HE IS FORCED TO PARTICIPATE IN A KINKY CUSTOMER'S FANTASY!
I would love seeing the next five years of life for all the main characters. Good stuff!!!