Lie Down With Dogs

on June 30, 1995 by Neal Weaver
   "Lie down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas," the saying goes. And writer/director/producer/actor Wally White sets out to prove it in his slick but diffuse debut, "Lie Down With Dogs." A young homosexual man, Tommy (White), is fed up with his life in the Big Apple, so he flees to the beachfront gay playground of Provincetown, Mass. for a summer of sex and fun. He tangles with sinister employers, falls for a charming Latino freeloader (Randy Becker), gets dumped by a fair-weather friend (Bash Halow) and fails to win Mr. Right (Darren Dryden). At the end, he's a little sadder but not much wiser.
   White has rashly tried to combine autobiography, satiric comedy, unabashed gay raunch and a semi-serious tale about relationships. But the elements don't mesh, and his hero is too passive and purposeless to drive the action. With no sustained plot or point of view to hold it together, the film becomes a series of random if occasionally funny episodes. In a final voiceover, even White seems uneasily aware that "Lie Down With Dogs" is pointless.
   As an actor, White is more comic than leading man, with a naive/nebbishy appeal. Becker (of Broadway's "Love! Valour! Compassion!") generates some real excitement as the Latino con man, and Halow is stylishly acidulous as the pseudo-friend. George Mitas' handsome color photography captures the charms of Provincetown so lovingly you can smell the salt air.    Starring Wally White, Randy Becker, Darren Dryden, Bash Halow and James Sexton. Directed and written by Wally White. Produced by Anthony Bennett and Wally White. A Miramax release. Satire. Rated R for strong sexuality and language, and for some drug use. Running time: 84 min.
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