In Sugar, Cliff (Andre Noble) is a normal teenager from the docile suburbs of Toronto just passing the marker of turning eighteen and frustrated with the predictability of his mundane life. He decides to have a wild night out on the town, hitting it off with some male street hustlers, who, among other things, sell drugs and prostitute themselves to survive. One young man in particular, Butch (Brendan Fehr) catches his eye.
Though Cliff falls for the marijuana-loving, tortured soul Butch, his partner in crime is only interested in sexual rendezvous where there is money involved. There is no intimacy to their friendship until a fateful night in which Butch takes Cliff’s virginity in front of a personal client, violating his sense of trust. The voyeuristic night together puts a halt on the love between the two very different boys. Cliff returns back home to seek consolation from his little sister Cookie (Haylee Wanstail), but is enabled by his hedonistic ways. Cliff, in a restaurant scene towards the end of the movie, takes to a bathroom stall to make love to his beau of the moment.
“By stage vet John Palmer, this tale of tortured love between a gay youth and street hustler juggles a complex load of emotional and tonal colors within a lean runtime.”
“This is a story of addiction and obsession.”
— Gay Celluloid
Did You Know?
Sugar is one of only three John Palmer full-length features. The film derives its storylines partly from a collection of short stories published in the ‘80s by Bruce LaBruce. On the DVD release, there is a tribute to Andre Noble who tragically died in an accident shortly after the film premiered. Review our Gay Themed Films Here