Jackie Boy is provocative and borderline exploitative

The fine acting and directing in this film about hookup culture is undone by some bizarre contrivances

JACKIE BOY (Cody Campanale). 87 minutes. Opens Friday (May 5). See listing. Rating: NN

When we first meet Alino Giraldi’s Jack, he’s plying a girl from a club with drinks, some blow and a pill. Their one-night stand ends with his tweeting a nude pic of her – just one of Jackie Boy’s many misogynist acts.

Things get shockingly violent in writer/director Cody Campanale’s debut feature, a provocative and borderline exploitative look at how hookup culture is maybe just a few drinks shy of rape culture.

Jack’s a womanizer and a terrible influence on the bros who fawn over him. That begins to change when he meets Shannon Coulter’s Jasmine. She’s a feisty foil whose effect on him feels like the set-up from so many rom-coms, not the raw look at shitty behaviour this film seems to be going for. 

Credit Coulter and Giraldi with lending this unlikely relationship some spark, and to Campanale for giving the latter enough room to undergo a measured transformation. This director has helped the performances and quiet moments ring true.

But contrivances spin things toward an extreme conclusion a minimalist character study that was already teetering on titillation gets shoved into Gaspar Noé territory.

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