Chrissy Judy (2022) Film Review |

Chrissy Judy

In Todd Flaherty‘s Chrissy Judy, friendship goes beyond anything you can imagine. It’s platonic, intense, and short of romantic. Once you understand how the dynamics work in the setting designed by Flaherty’s script, then you may be able to get in position to go on this necessary journey. When the film begins, you feel like an outsider to the conflict of two queer men who are united because friendship in their community demands so. As the film slowly progresses towards Judy’s self-discovery, it’s not that you become more acquainted with their surroundings. It’s simply that Flaherty pushes for the human element to prevail above any other reference that may distract you from what you really have to see. Flaherty grows alongside his movie and ends up creating an artistic expression that speaks widely about loneliness in a world that doesn’t often admit it.

Chrissy Judy tells the story of Judy and Chrissy, two queer men whose relationship is solid. They even have a drag queen show as a duo and share almost everything in their lives. This doesn’t mean they’re happy though. Chrissy decides to head over to Philadelphia with his boyfriend, and this leaves Judy in shock. The first thing he asks is “what will happen with the show?”. Chrissy decides to follow his instinct and leave New York City. Up until this moment, we are convinced this is “Chrissy’s film”, an exploration into what he dares experiment.

But then it becomes Judy’s. Chrissy’s departures sends Judy down a spiral of doubt and concern. He simply doesn’t know how to be alone. When he seeks the companion of others, he does awkwardly and almost aggressively. A phone call from Chrissy doesn’t help. The solo show doesn’t work, and neither do his attempts to find love in the strangest of places. Perhaps he simply should look himself in the mirror and address himself as the only thing that matters in a two-place setting that only has one person living in it. When Judy meets with Chrissy and realizes the current circumstances, he turns the other way and decides to be himself.

Flaherty writes, directs and acts. He’s solid in his role as a lonesome queer man whose safe space is far too empty. But growing feels necessary this time. He knows he will have to face the possibility he never even considered. Is it time for him to be an average part of society, one that works all day, reads before bed and lies alone in the dark of night? A sexual encounter is part of this forced journey into finding himself and his essence, and it’s definitely not what he wanted it to be in the end.

In the end, it’s also a film about reckoning and embracing reality. A reality that’s not as loud as music in clubs, or as steamy as a casual encounter in the queer underworld. Reality sometimes is finding the truth when speaking to your friend and being able to see them for what they are in their true essence. It may not be what they wanted, but it’s what life held out for them in a key moment. Judy was a broken man in the beginning, one that relied on the dreamlike drone of a ferry noise and closed his eyes while feeling the presence of Judy beside him. Guess whose shoulder Chrissy seeks in the end?

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Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of the OFCS. RT Certified Critic

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