Casper Andreas has made a name for himself with gay-themed movies such as Between Love & Goodbye, The Big Gay Musical, Going Down In La La Land and Kiss Me Kill Me. He’s back with his eighth feature, Flatbush Luck, which doesn’t put gay themes quite as much at the forefront as some of his other movies, although he certainly hasn’t abandoned them entirely.
Jimmy (Tanner Novlan) and his cousin Max (Robby Stahl) are best friends, and both of them work for the telephone company fixing the lines. Jimmy used to work on Wall Street but is going through a rough patch – hence the repairman job – and he’s also having women troubles both because of his change in social position and his rather libidinous ways. Max meanwhile is dealing with a pushy, manipulative fiancé who’s angling for a massive, expensive wedding that he can’t afford and doesn’t want.
Jimmy accidentally overhears some insider stock trading tips while on a job, and when he realises the tip was real, he decides to go back to the house and listen again, enlisting Max in his highly illegal but very lucrative get-rich-quick scheme. Things get increasingly complex when their colleagues also start buying stocks, and when they overhear what might be a plan to kill someone. If that weren’t enough, Max’s life gets turned upside-down when he meets a male massage therapist who he can’t deny he has feelings for (even if he has a girlfriend who’s not going to permit him to be gay!).
As with some of Casper Andreas’ other movies, it’s decent entertainment if a little inconsequential. It’s a movie that just wants to be a bit of light fun, and it does manage that. However, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that there was more comedy and pathos to be pulled out of the situation. It’s a setup that has the potential to be really funny, but instead it’s lightly amusing.
Part of the problem is that it takes quite a while to get going. Flatbush Luck spends quite a long time setting up the situation and introducing us to the characters, which is both a positive and a negative. It’s great to know who we’re dealing with and to ensure Max and Jimmy aren’t just cardboard cutouts, but the way it’s done means we’re a fairly long way into the film before the plot starts properly.
Luckily there are aspects of Flatbush Luck that work extremely well. The best of those is Max, played very sweetly by the handsome Robby Stahl. Although a man with a fiancé realising he’s gay isn’t a brand new thing for the screen, it’s handled very empathetically. I normally have an issue with films where a character is coming to terms with their sexuality by cheating, and where the girlfriend is presented as a total shrew, but here it works. It’s partly because everyone else seems to already know Max is probably gay, and partly because there’s no doubt that overall he is a good guy prone to going in directions he probably shouldn’t.
The rest of the movie is fun if a tiny bit underwhelming. It doesn’t hurt that the leads are good looking and occasionally get their shirts off, and that the whole thing is shot through with an air of good-natured silliness. It may not add up to a vast amount, but it’s a decent watch.
Overall Verdict: Flatbush Luck is a genial New York set comedy, that may occasionally suffer from feeling a tiny bit inconsequential, but it entertains, especially with its gay subplot.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac