Prom King (MiFo Film Festival)
Charlie (Christopher Schaap) was definitely born in the wrong decade. He is a hopeless romantic who dreams of finding the love of his life with violins soaring in the background, just like in old-fashioned Hollywood movies. Instead, he is very unhappy about having to look for it in all the wrong places, and only finding disappointment and heartbreak.
Charlie is an openly gay New York student on the verge of his 21st birthday. He is desperate to find a boyfriend so that he can finally "go all the way." He confesses to Thomas (Adam Lee Brown), one of his best friends, that he has fooled around with just two boys to date, but they were never the real thing. He thinks that Ford (Frans Dam), the hot-looking waiter that is serving the two of them lunch, could be what he's been looking for, and when the note that he leaves on a napkin with the tip results in a phone call, Charlie is over the moon. When he and Ford go on some dates he finally achieves one of his goals, at least, but the older man is neither physically nor emotionally available, so Charlie loses his virginity but has his heart broken.
Every time Charles goes home to visit his very supportive parents, they gently inquire whether he has met anyone. Their inquiries unwittingly depress Charlie further, as his parents met at college and have lived happily ever after. Even his girl pals from high school are getting into serious relationships. The trouble is the reality of big city culture, with its crowded gay bars and the on-line dating scene which, despite its euphemistic name, amounts to little more than hook-up sites. None of this is going to suit a 20-year-old romantic like him, and his normally bubbly optimism is beginning to wane.
However, this is anything but a sad story; Charlie is irrepressibly likable, and one cannot help but warm to his unbridled desire to be swept off his feet. He is cute, highly intelligent, funny, sassy, and good looking to boot, and he would be a great catch for the right man... if only he could find him.
This totally charming, vastly entertaining movie takes us through all of young Charlie's ups and downs with the men he meets and tries to romance. "Prom King" is a sheer joy from start to finish. It is more remarkable because of the fact it is the work of its young star, who also wrote and directed the film. Whether this is art reflecting Schapp's own is unclear, but beside the point; what we are certain about is that this is the work of an exceptionally talented filmmaker. He is a refreshing new voice, and it doesn't hurt that he can turn out a movie with high production values on what one can only assume was a micro budget.
With all his references to films throughout his movie Schapp obviously has a real passion for cinema, which will serve him well. It seems likely that the complement will soon reverse.