Trying to plumb beneath the usual emotional shallows of twentysomething L.A. gay life, “Holding Trevor” sometimes succeeds, but mostly comes off as a vanity project for writer-star Brent Gorski.

Trying to plumb beneath the usual emotional shallows of twentysomething L.A. gay life, “Holding Trevor” sometimes succeeds, but mostly comes off as a vanity project for writer-star Brent Gorski. A whiny-voiced lad with limited screen presence, he plays a protag caught between a longtime boyfriend-turned-junkie, an improbably perfect Mr. Right and two high-maintenance, brattily annoying best friends. Pic opened on a single Los Angeles screen July 4, with other cities booked to follow, but will find primary traction as a DVD rental.

Latest near-fatal overdose by heroin addict Darrell (Chris Wyllie) is the last straw for long-suffering Trevor (Gorski), who no longer wants to be his on/off mate’s safety net. He cuts off communication and promptly meets a somewhat improbably smitten medical intern, Ephram (Eli Kranski), who’s as rock-steady as Darrell is train-wrecky. But Trevor has problems accepting Unconditional Love.

Meanwhile, he contends with the crises of musician pal Jake (singer-songwriter Jay Brannan), who proudly can’t remember his myriad tricks’ names; and straight roommate Andie (Melissa Searing), whose occasional drunken sex with strangers gets her into trouble.

With friends like these, and a rudderless job at an answering service (they still exist?), you might think Trevor should grab adoring Ephram, get the hell outta Dodge and leave his buddies behind to sort out their own crap. Ergo, the pic’s noble-sacrifice conclusion rings false: These people seem too self-absorbed, the connections between them too unhealthily co-dependent, to make Trevor’s ultimate decision seem virtuous as intended.

Instead, “Holding Trevor” comes off as Joan Crawford-esque, star-flattering melodrama on an Amerindie scale. There are several quite well-written, well-observed scenes; director Rosser Goodman delivers a polished product with solid tech values. But a vanity-project air still pervades “Holding Trevor,” from the scrawny star’s frequent shirtlessness to his incessant fawning-over by Kranski’s character.

While Jake is toxically superficial, Brannan (previously a leading player in “Shortbus”), during a briefly glimpsed club performance, reveals fine vocalizing and more nuanced songwriting than his onscreen persona here would suggest.

Holding Trevor

Production

A Regent release of a Here Films presentation of a Stray Films, KGB Films production. Produced by Rosser Goodman. Executive producer, Brent Gorski. Co-producer, Oneita Parker. Directed by Rosser Goodman. Screenplay, Brent Gorski.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-DigiBeta), Kara Stephens; editor, Donna Mathewson; production/costume designer, Oneita Parker; sound, Jesus R. Guevara; assistant director, Will Newman. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 25, 2008. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Brent Gorski, Jay Brannan, Melissa Searing, Eli Kranski, Chris Wyllie.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more