Ski Trip

Deliberately over-the-top laffer gathers a gaggle of dressed-for-the-part black and Latino gay stereotypes, parades them around Gotham, then hustles them to a cabin in the Catskills for a game of truth. Miniscule-budgeted pic, which airs on MTV's new Logo channel on July 17, reps an impressive calling-card for helmer.

With:
With: Maurice Jamal, Daren Fleming, John Rankin, Cassandra Cruz, Nathan Hale, Emanuel Xavier.

Deliberately over-the-top laffer gathers a gaggle of dressed-for-the-part black and Latino gay stereotypes, parades them around Gotham, then hustles them to a cabin in the Catskills for a game of truth. Pic’s characters are all play-acting to cover their insecurities, and humor in actor/writer/star Maurice Jamal’s debut outing never feels reductive. Unfortunately, it’s not especially funny either — aside from Jamal himself, few of the thesps have the wherewithal to suggest much substance beneath the madcap posturing. Nevertheless, miniscule-budgeted pic, which airs on MTV’s new Logo channel on July 17, reps an impressive calling-card for helmer.

New Yorker Cory (Jamal) has glumly turned 30, his comic book career, love-life and economic stability close to non-existent. To cheer him up, friends bundle him up for a ski trip sans skis. The motley crew includes a mincing drag queen (Daren Fleming), a bitchy hottie (Nathan Hale), a sweet, dreadlocked best friend with a major crush on Cory (John Rankin), and a caustic lesbian (Cassandra Cruz). The lesbian’s pickup g.f., who is deaf, delivers script’s best zingers as succinctly snorted one-word commentaries. Final marathon group successfully conveys characters’ vulnerabilities without puncturing pleasant pic’s indomitable party spirit.

Ski Trip

Production: An MTV Networks presentation of a MoJam Entertainment production. Produced by Nathan Williams, Jamel Cherry, Jerry W. Brown. Directed, written by Maurice Jamal.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Laura Nespola; editor, Gene Graham; music, Ashley Allen, Tori Fixx. Reviewed at NewFest, New York, June 3, 2005. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Maurice Jamal, Daren Fleming, John Rankin, Cassandra Cruz, Nathan Hale, Emanuel Xavier.

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