Chrissy Judy takes a poignant dive into what our friendships do for us – in particular those that involve our queer chosen families. Chrissy (Wyatt Fenner) and Judy (Todd Flaherty) are best friends and have been performing drag together for a while, mostly to rather disinterested audiences in New York City and Fire Island. They’ve both recently turned thirty years old and this milestone has triggered Chrissy into revaluating his life and priorities. He decides to quit performing drag and to move in with his boyfriend Shawn (Kiyon Spencer) who lives in Philadelphia, and transfer his day job there too.
Judy is pretty shocked at the decision and the sudden loss of both his best friend and creative partner. Judy doesn’t really have a very focused life. He is a part-time barman, lives in an awkward apartment share with two women with whom he has little in common, and has never had a serious romantic relationship. He, therefore, doesn’t really understand Chrissy’s decisions and plays up trying to convince him to change his mind. Judy’s upfront bravado covers up his inner feelings of rejection and inadequacy.
Chrissy moves to Philly and Judy tries performing drag on his own but it doesn’t really work, and he’s dropped from his only regular gig. We follow Judy as he bounces from party to disco and man to man as he tries to fill the gap left by Chrissy. One night at the house party of an old friend Samoa (James Tyson), he gets the following good advice; “We are all on this planet to become the people we are meant to be. But if you don’t envision who that person is, then you won’t become them.” This seems to wake him up a little and Judy gets a job in a hotel in Provincetown for the summer, and slowly begins to discover himself.
Todd Flaherty has written, directed, and stars in this film, which is beautifully shot in black and white. Strong art direction, cinematography, and good casting with some handsome men complement an often witty script. The overall message here is that our chosen families, although very important, alone usually won’t give us the full life we want. We need to search out and create relationships, careers, housing opportunities, and all the other elements that make up a nourishing life ourselves.
P.S. Ris Fatah saw the World Premiere of Chrissy Judy at Provincetown Film Festival: for future screenings https://www.chrissyjudyfilm.com/
Review: Ris Fatah
Queerguru’s Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah