Movie Details

Adapted from a series of short stories by Canadian cult favorite Bruce La Bruce, this seriocomic coming-of-age story stars Andre Noble as Cliff, a teenager growing up in Toronto in the 1980s. While Cliff is aware of the fact he's gay and has a ravenous curiosity about sex, he hasn't been able to do much about it. However, on his 18h birthday, Cliff's free-thinking mother, Madge (Marnie McPhail), pours him a stiff drink, offers him a reefer, and politely but firmly tells him to go downtown and have some fun. Eager to lose his virginity, Cliff instead encounters Butch (Brendan Fehr), a good-looking guy in his early twenties who makes his living as a male prostitute. Cliff is infatuated with Butch from the first moment he sees him; however, while Butch appears fond of Cliff and strikes up a friendship with him, his career has forced him to develop a sense of emotional distance from others, and he isn't interested in sex with other men unless he's being paid for it. Cliff becomes a regular visitor to Butch's apartment and gets a crash course in the underbelly of the Toronto gay community, but one day Butch drafts Cliff into performing a sex act with him for a customer, leaving Cliff humiliated and heartbroken. Sugar also stars Sarah Polley and Maury Chaykin. Only the second feature film from respected theatrical director John Palmer, it was screened as part of the 2004 San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi