Torch Song Trilogy [1988]

Harvey Fierstein had a smash hit on Broadway with the stage version of this story about a drag queen, but whatever the magic there was doesn't show up in this film adaptation. (Fierstein allegedly couldn't line up an A-list or even B-list director in 1988 to tackle the gay story line, so he agreed to work with Paul Bogart, a ubiquitous television director but an undistinguished feature filmmaker.) Fierstein's performance is fine, but likely a shadow of his live work, while Anne Bancroft is very strong in the role of his character's mother. Matthew Broderick went against the tide of fear shared by most Hollywood actors at the time about playing gay characters. The times have certainly changed since then. --Tom Keogh

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