Behind the Candelabra comes from director Steven Soderbergh, who recently retired from theatrical filmmaking with a nifty little thriller called Side Effects. I’m not sure if Behind the Candelabra was meant to be his theatrical sign-off, but we’ll never know because he couldn’t find any financing because the studios thought the film was “too gay” for Hollywood, despite the fact that he only wanted $5 million. Matt Damon’s lifetime box-office average is $72 million, which is to say: This was probably a bad call, Hollywood.
Anyway, HBO decided to finance the project because HBO is HBO, and they don’t care about “too gay.” The movie follows the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his (much younger) lover, Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) and it looks wickedly weird. As in, a OMIGOD SO GAY Rob Lowe character is brought in to make Liberace’s young lover look more like young Liberace and then Liberace apparently wants to adopt his lover as his son. Or something. Scott Bakula, Paul Reiser, and Dan Aykroyd are also in Behind the Candelabra, which premieres on HBO on May 26th. Check out the trailer (Aykroyd has about a second in it, but he’s practically unrecognizable. Look for the guy who looks like a gay Rainn Wilson at 1:17).