The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Film Reviews

By Kimberley Jones, March 16, 2001, Screens

The Trouble With Lou

D: Gregor; with Lou Romano, Katheryn Cain, Tom Winkler, Michelle Maaske, Donne McRae, Michael Ambrosini. (Video, 85 min.)

The "trouble" with Lou is that he jerks off. A lot. For most 17-year-olds, masturbation isn't so much trouble as it is habit, but Lou lives in the antiseptic Fifties, where choking the chicken is the fastest way to invite social stigma. The Trouble With Lou is shot entirely in the style of one of those black & white, one-reel sex-ed flicks. There's even a velvety-throated narrator who charts Lou's transformation from sexual deviant to stellar citizen. It's a cute concept, but one that wears thin surprisingly quickly. The film delivers every line, every gesture so tongue-in-cheekily that the characters never engage us. Lou's good for a few chuckles but, much like wanking off, it leaves you feeling kinda vacant afterward.

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