Trick (1999 film)

Trick is a 1999 American gay-themed romantic comedy film directed by Jim Fall and starring Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc, Miss Coco Peru, and Tori Spelling.[4][5] Independently produced by Eric d'Arbeloff, Ross Katz, and Fall, the film was written by Jason Schafer.[4][5] Trick premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1999[5] and was later released theatrically by Fine Line Features that July. The film grossed $2 million at the United States box office, which was seen by Fine Line Features as "credible business".[6][7]

Trick poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJim Fall
Written byJason Schafer
Produced by
CinematographyTerry Stacey
Edited byBrian A. Kates
Music byDavid Friedman
Distributed byFine Line Features
Release dates
  • January 27, 1999 (1999-01-27) (Sundance)
  • July 23, 1999 (1999-07-23) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,087,228[3]

In 2018, plans for a sequel to the film were announced. Initially, the sequel was planned for a 2019 release.


Gabriel, an office temp by day and aspiring Broadway composer by night, makes eye contact with Mark, a go-go dancer in a gay bar. The two meet again in the subway the same night, and go back to Gabriel's place to have sex. They are thwarted in the attempt first by Gabriel's aspiring actress friend Katherine, who is obsessed with her role in an adaptation of Salomé set in a women's prison, and then by Gabriel's roommate Rich, who returns home with his girlfriend Judy and has similar (and conflicting) plans for the apartment.

Gabriel and Rich argue over which of them should get to use the apartment that night, and decide to settle the matter with a coin toss. When Gabriel loses the coin toss and he and Mark have to leave, Gabriel seeks out his friend Perry to request the use of Perry's place. Unfortunately, as Perry escorts Gabriel and Mark there, they run into Perry's ex-boyfriend. Perry and his ex tearfully reconcile and they go back to Perry's, frustrating Gabriel and Mark yet again. The two then decide to hit a gay club for some dancing. There, a malicious drag queen, Miss Coco, corners Gabriel in the restroom. She badmouths Mark to Gabriel, telling him of the time they tricked – which sounds very much like how Gabriel and Mark met – and how Mark left abruptly after climaxing, leaving her with a fake phone number to boot. Crushed by this news, Gabriel decides to take off.

Mark follows Gabriel back to his and Rich's apartment to talk – and also because he has left his house keys there. They go in to look for the keys and try to talk things out while Judy mediates, topless. Mark asserts that while he did indeed trick once with Miss Coco, it was actually the latter who tried to take advantage of him by secretly videotaping their encounter without Mark's consent. Gabriel accepts this story, but still does not trust Mark, so Mark leaves angrily. Judy then finds Mark's keys, and Gabriel chases after Mark with them down into the subway. Just when it seems that Mark is gone forever, he reappears; he and Gabriel made a connection after all.

Having reconciled, they decide to get something to eat but run into Katherine and some of her theatre friends at a diner, where Katherine proceeds to monopolize the conversation. Gabriel finally blows up at her, and Katherine, humiliated, melts down and leaves in a huff. Gabriel chases after her and apologizes; they smooth things over and Katherine and her friends depart. As the new morning dawns, Mark gives Gabriel his phone number, they kiss, and Mark heads home. Gabriel calls the number on a nearby payphone, and is relieved to learn that it's Mark's actual number. While they never found a spot to trick, Mark and Gabriel instead formed a budding relationship beyond the simple one night stand they'd first been trying for.



Independently produced, Trick was picked up for North American distribution by Fine Line Features soon after being screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1999.[4] The "mid-six figure" deal guaranteed a theatrical release in at least three cities.[4]

Filming was completed in less than three weeks in August 1998.[citation needed]

Critical receptionEdit

Roger Ebert wrote, "The movie imposes a Doris Day story line on material that wants to be more sexual; it’s about a character whose quasi-virginity is preserved through an improbable series of mishaps and coincidences."[8] Janet Maslin of The New York Times commented, "Trick is a tenderhearted boy-meets-boy story that manages to incorporate the courtship-interruptus style of the Doris Day era into a Greenwich Village one-night stand."[8]


  1. "Dream Weaver" (Gary Wright) – Erin Hamilton
  2. "Unspeakable Joy" (Kim English; Maurice Joshua) – Kim English
  3. "Brand New Lover" (Alfred Hochstrasser; J. Parzen; Michael Momm) – Bibiche
  4. "I Am Woman (Razor N' Guido Mix)" (Helen Reddy; Ray Burton) – Jessica Williams
  5. "Someone to Hold" (Harvey L. Frierson, Jr.; Veronica) – Veronica
  6. "Drama" (Peter Rauhofer) – Kim Cooper
  7. "Maybe (Love'll Make Sense to Me)" (Jeff Krassner; S. Faber) – Jeff Krassner
  8. "Enter You" (Jason Schafer) – Tori Spelling
  9. "¿Como Te Gusta Mi Pinga?" (A. Chapman) – Steve Hayes
  10. "I Am Woman* (Dance Mix)" (Helen Reddy; Ray Burton) – Jessica Williams
  11. "Trick of Fate/Enter You (Finale) [Instrumental]" (Jason Schafer)
  12. "Trick of Fate" (David Friedman) – Valerie Pinkston


Year Award Festival Category Result
1999 Siegessäule Special Jury Teddy Award Berlin International Film Festival Feature film Won[9]
1999 Special Programming Committee Award Outfest Outstanding Emerging Talent – Jim Fall Won
1999 Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Nominated[10]
2000 Golden Satellite Award 4th Golden Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Musical or Comedy – Tori Spelling Nominated


In a December 2012 interview, director Fall stated that he and writer Schafer were in the early stages of developing a sequel to Trick. Fall said the film would take place 12 years after the first one, with main characters Gabriel and Mark — not having stayed together because they were "not really right for each other" — meeting again and falling in love as grown men in their 40s.[11]

Fall announced in a non-public social media post in August 2018 that script for the sequel was completed and the project was moving forward, with Coco Peru attached to co-star. Scheduled for release in 2019, the film will be set in Los Angeles.[12][13] Fall subsequently told Out that Campbell, Pitoc, Spelling, Beyer and Hayes would be reprising their roles in Trick 2.[14] Other cast members announced in September 2018 include Guillermo Diaz, Jimmy Fowlie, Tara Karsian, Arne Gjelten, Joe Arellano, and Elizabeth Regensburger-Gonzalez.[10]


  1. ^ "TRICK (15)". British Board of Film Classification. February 2, 2000. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  2. ^ "Trick (1999) Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. September 30, 1999. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Trick (1999) – Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. December 31, 1999. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Hindes, Andrew; Carver, Benedict (January 26, 1999). "Trick pic treated to release by Fine Line". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Sundance Archives: 1999 Film Festival – Trick". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  6. ^ "Trick - Box Office Mojo".
  7. ^ "Indies go every 'Witch' way in '99 - Variety". Archived from the original on August 22, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Ryll, Alexander (2014). "Essential Gay Themed Films To Watch, Trick". Gay Essential. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  9. ^ "Teddy Award Winner: Trick". Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via
  10. ^ a b Voss, Brandon (September 15, 2018). "Hot Go-Go Boy From Trick Still Looks Sexy Shirtless in Sequel". NewNowNext. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Halterman, Jim (December 7, 2012). "Exclusive: Director Jim Fall On His New Holiday Film And (Finally) The Trick Sequel". Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  12. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (August 3, 2018). "The 1999 Gay Rom-Com Trick Is Getting a 2019 Sequel. Here Are the Details". Hornet. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  13. ^ Randall, Devin (August 4, 2018). "Gay Film Trick Is Getting A Sequel!". Instinct. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Garner, Glenn (August 11, 2018). "Director Jim Fall Talks Trick 2 and 20 Years Since the Original". Out. Retrieved September 17, 2018.

External linksEdit