Fat Girls



Regent Releasing/here! Films

A crass coming-of-age comedy in the John Waters mode, this gay-themed indie well reveals the inexperience of its writer-director-star Ash Christian, who was only 20 when he made this debut feature. Despite some rude laughs and generally having its heart in the right place, "Fat Girls" is too crudely executed to make much of an impact.

Christian plays the central character of Rodney Miller, a gay teen growing up in small-town Texas who dreams of someday making it big as a Broadway star. Rodney figuratively defines himself as a "fat girl," his all-purpose term for society's outcasts.

Fitting the description more literally is his best friend, Sabrina (Ashley Fink), a 300-pound young woman being raised by lesbian parents. The third member of Christian's small entourage is Sabrina's boyfriend, Rudy (Robin De Jesus), a Cuban refugee living with a black family.

The episodic film largely revolves around vignettes like Christian's sexual encounter with the hetero but bored football quarterback backstage during a school production of "The Odd Couple." He later strikes up a relationship with a British transfer student (Joe Flaten) who takes him to his first gay bar, where he discovers one of his teachers (Jonathan Caouette, director of the acclaimed "Tarnation") performing as a drag queen.

The film's humor is not exactly of the subtle variety. For instance, the aforementioned teacher is named Seymour Cox, and at one point Sabrina gets literally stuck in the Volkswagen in which she's making out with her boyfriend.

"Fat Girls" does manage to express with some degree of both accuracy and sensitivity the psychic trauma of being a high school social pariah, but it squanders its good intentions with its relentless vulgarity.