Main cast: Pier-Gabriel Lajoie (Lake), Katie Boland (Désirée), Yardly Kavanagh (Nurse Baptiste), Marie-Hélène Thibault (Marie), and Walter Borden (Melvyn Peabody)
Director: Bruce LaBruce
Compared to Bruce LaBruce’s previous works such as Raspberry Reich and L.A. Zombie, Geron is not even close to being a queercore flick. It is, in fact, the closest Mr LaBruce has ever come to making a love story, although it naturally pushes the envelope of the mainstream consciousness by combining homosexuality and gerontophilia – which is, basically, one’s sexual attraction to elderly people. To put it simply, we have a man in either his late teens or early twenties in a love story with an 81-year old man.
Lake has a girlfriend, Désirée, whom he is certainly sleeping with, and he spends most of his time caring for his mess of a mother, Marie, when he’s not helping out in various things in the neighborhood. Désirée, in fact, teases him by calling him a saint. Lake is vaguely unhappy, but it is only when he gives CPR to an elderly man in the town pool and develops an erection in the process that he finally gets to pinpoint the source of his unrest: he is attracted to the elderly. He finds them erotic, to the point that he sketches his elderly subjects like a lover drawing the object of his affection. He even sketches Désirée as an old woman and makes love to her with a blown-up image of Mahatma Ghandi in the backdrop.
When a family friend lets him work at the neighborhood facility for the elderly, it’s like letting a fat kid run unchecked in a buffet hall. He soon develops an attraction to 81-year old Melvyn Peabody, who is very ill. Eventually, he decides that he has to help Melvyn achieve his dream – to see the ocean one last time before he dies.
Folks, I have to let you guys know – while normally Mr LaBruce’s movies are usually a free-for-all when it comes to beautiful people baring all and engaging in hardcore sexual activities, here, the only full frontal nudity comes from Walter Borden, the guy that plays the old guy. Pier-Gabriel Lajoie is obscenely pretty – where do these French boys come from and how can I buy a few of them? – but any skin from him is mostly from the waist up.
In fact, this is where I’ve better bring up an issue I have with this story: Geron is actually more timid than its director’s reputation would lead one to believe. It is only in the final scenes do Lake and Melvyn actually engage in displays of affection. The scenes prior to that – even ones where it’s clear that these two have had sex – have the two actors barely touching one another. As a result, the so-called romance between these two never develop much beyond something more akin to friendship, which is awkward considering that, for a long time, Lake believes that he is in lust with Melvyn and is trying to sort out inside his head whether he’s just going through a freaky phase. If that boy is in lust, it’s the most awkward kind of lust I’ve ever seen.
I guess even for someone like Mr LaBruce – who had hired actual actors of gay adult films to be in hardcore explicit gore vampire movies or had his cast actually have sex in Nazi-themed gender fluid orgy movies – showing an actually sexually-charged relationship between two consenting adults with a huge age gap between them is… icky. Or maybe he just wants a more mainstream audience for this movie – good luck with that, buddy – and neuters any realistic sexual attraction between the two main characters in the process. Whatever his motives are, the so-called sexual attraction between Lake and Melvyn is never believable or engaging. They just don’t act like they are in lust, that’s the problem.
It’s a shame that the execution is not exactly together, because the story is actually a sweet one, and it also allows Désirée to retain her dignity despite the fact that she’s stuck in the thankless role of that woman in a gay movie while having Melvyn be an actually realistic sort of elderly gentleman instead of, say, an over the top queen, a wise guru-type of person, or other lazy stereotypes. Yet, Geron is just too restrained and safe for its own good, especially when the director had never bothered with restraint before in the past. Oh, well.