Innocent

"Very Good"

Innocent Review


Rare is the teenager who's as cool under pressure as Eric (Timothy Lee). Given the challenges that he faces in Innocent, it's amazing that he endures at all, let alone with his mental health and sense of humor intact.

A Hong Kong native, Eric and his sister accompany their parents on a vacation to Toronto to visit some extended family members. What the parents don't say until they've arrived is that the famly is not returning. That's right, Eric... Welcome to Canada. Eric's other big issue, that he's a closeted gay teen, seems to pale by comparison, at least for the moment. But then a complication: He meets his devastatingly good-looking cousin for the first time.

Brushing off that dangerous temptation, Eric starts school and manages to pick up Larry (Larry Peloso), a rice queen sugar daddy, in a gay bookstore. Luckily for Eric, Larry is actually a very nice guy who wants to offers him adjust to his new surroundings. So, apparently, does Eric's new school chum Jim (David Yee), with whom Eric thinks he can really make a go of it until he pushes the heavy petting too far, scares Jim, and ends up getting outed at school. Now not only is he the new guy but he's also the queer in the class. All this, and English isn't even his first language. Stress! Still, Eric perseveres.

His next crush is on an illegal immigrant worker (David Lieu Song Wei) in the restaurant his parents have started up. The two hatch a plan to escape to New York, but Eric is only setting himself up for one more smack in the face. Can he continue to keep such a stiff upper lip in the face of so much betrayal and upheaval?

Unlike the protagonists of most teen coming-out films, Eric is delightfully free of despair and angst. Whenever he's down he simply visits Larry (more betrayal there in the end) or takes a walk in a nearby wheat field. Timothy Lee is a natural, and writer/director Simon Chung was lucky to find someone this good to fill a very difficult-to-cast role. The supporting cast has no trouble pulling off both the heavy drama and the lighter comic touches of the screenplay. As offbeat as this tale may seem, they make it seem true-to-life, as do the scruffy suburban locations.

Yikes, stripes.



Innocent

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 6th November 2005

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Simon Chung

Producer: Simon Chung, Paul Lee

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