Leather Jacket Love Story
1997, NR, 85 min. Directed by David Decoteau. Starring Sean Tataryn, Christopher Bradley, Geoffrey Moody, Hector Mercado, Madame Dish, Erin Krystle, Craig Olsen, Mink Stole, Nicholas Worth, Morris Kight.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., June 5, 1998
Despite its rough-sounding title, Leather Jacket Love Story is a sweet-at-heart, romantic, gay comedy. Shot in black and white and doing little to disguise its low-budget limitations, the film still manages to winsomely capture certain aspects of first love and a funky L.A. coffeehouse scene without impeding the frequency of its raunchy sex scenes. Kyle (Tataryn) is an 18-year-old, sandy-haired, doe-eyed Valley boy who wants to escape his shallow West Hollywood friends and trendy lifestyle. An aspiring poet, he moves to Los Angeles' more bohemian Silver Lake district, away from the endless stream of “Chads and Brads” tanning themselves by those West Hollywood pools. “It's not about getting your rocks off. It's about having special experiences,” he explains to his best pal from childhood. Kyle instantly gravitates toward the coffeehouse in his new neighborhood, a place that hosts regular poetry readings and is frequented by colorful locals and drag queens and is operated by John Waters regular Mink Stole. Then in walks the studly, 30-year-old, leather-jacketed construction worker Mike (Bradley), and Kyle's heart drops to his, well, you can guess the rest. But instead of devoting the rest of the film solely to their X-rated passion plays, the film touches on a number of other issues -- the inevitable conflict between the starry-eyed young lover and the rougher trade older man, whether handcuffs are appropriate on a second date, and the daily life that revolves around the coffeehouse regulars. Leather Jacket Love Story features solid performances and is clearly made as a labor of love, a labor that wants to be more than just a momentary satisfaction. Like Kyle, the movie wants to be about more than getting your rocks off.