A relatively trite effort in Jochen Hick’s nearly two-decade feature career, “The Good American” provides the filmmaker (and viewers) an excuse to hang out with gay sex workers, rather than any real insight into their lives and biz. Subject Tom Weise is a German expat who co-founded popular escort site Rentboy.com and the live dance party Hustlaball; extroverted but not especially fascinating, he dominates a docu that leaves too many questions dangling to satisfy. Late August release in Germany will score home-format sales elsewhere.
Due to his HIV-positive status, the diminuitive 40-year-old is an illegal U.S. immigrant; deportation fears finally drive him to return home after 12 years with an American lover. We follow him to elaborate Hustlaball parties and other events involving porn actors, prostitutes and their admirers. Weise’s opinions on hypocritical Stateside sexual attitudes and politics are predictable, and the domestic sequences sometimes plod aimlessly. Meanwhile, there’s a curious evasiveness regarding Weise’s fallouts with business partners, suggesting a more problematic personality than Hick is willing to explore. Actual male escorts (but almost no customers) are also observed, albeit glibly. Slick sum is at once diverting and pointless.