Leave It On The Floor
Indie gay films can be the bane of my existence. Preachy, earnest, and badly acted, I fear them as much as I fear that new movie with Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks. What’s worse is seeing an original movie musical (because they are rare) that has unmemorable songs and lame dancing. So it was with trepidation that I went into the new indie gay musical (*natch) "Leave it on the Floor."
Written by Glen Gaylord (director of "Eating Out 3") and directed by TV veteran Sheldon Larry, ’Floor’ is a gritty musical - and I do mean "musical" where characters break out into song - about the ballroom vogue houses made famous in the documentary "Paris is Burning." It stars Ephraim Sykes as Brad, a black gay teen recently kicked out of the house by his homophobic mother. While buying food at a local mini-mart, he catches the eye of Carter (Andre Meyers), another teen to whom he instantly takes a liking. But when he realizes Carter has stolen his wallet, Brad chases Carter back to an old warehouse where a Ballroom battle is taking place.
This is Brad’s entrance into the world of the "Ballroom Bliss" where different houses of "girls" compete for bowling trophies and the status of being the best at their craft. As Brad watches the men take the floor - some in drag, others in crazy outfits, or just ridiculously ripped men strutting their bodies on the runway - he meets Princess Eminence (Phillip Evelyn) a handsome man with a volcano of confidence. Discovering Brad has no place to sleep he brings him home to the House of Eminence headed by their queen mother Queef Latina, played by the scene-stealing Barbie-Q. She is none to happy about this new arrangement and makes Brad sleep in his car so as not to infect his home with any shenanigans.
Soon enough, Brad is hanging with Princess who has grand dreams of her own (as sung in his hot number "Justin’s Gonna Call") and who promises to teach Brad how to compete as one of the Sex Sirens - the most masculine of the ballroom styles. Meanwhile, Brad discovers Carter lives at the House of Eminence and the two start to fall for each other.
Other characters we meet along the way are Queef’s thuggish imprisoned boyfriend Caldwell (Demarkes Dogan), Eppie Durall (James Alsop) a queen that always dresses in pregnancy drag, and Duke Eminence (Cameron Koa) the youngest member of the house who competes in a Schoolboy Realness.
Brad continues to learn about the Ballroom way while navigating his frightening feelings for Carter and dealing with a self-worth that has been shattered by years of emotional abuse. As he does, he learns that he can make his own family and will find that even when he makes mistakes, he will be forgiven and loved unconditionally.