One Man Show

| June 24, 2004

John Falcon is the man who won the largest New York jackpot ever collected by one person, and while I would be shouting it from the rooftops, for him it is the last thing he wants people to remember about him. However, the entire documentary, One Man Show: A Musical Documentary is completely about his win and the effect it seems to have had on his life.
Before his giant windfall of cash John, a New York performance artist with a wonderful voice and spirit, had moved in many different creative circles. He never really focused on any one and seemed to be more like a creative tornado than a person who might be committed enough in one art form to actually “make it.” Before his lucky cash break, he started off as an accomplished fashion designer. After that endeavor, he started a greeting card business but gave it up when it became too successful! After this it seems his life really took a turn for the worst as his boyfriend stole eighty-five thousand dollars from him to buy cocaine. Shortly after this John was mugged and seriously injured in a gay hate crime. No one in their right mind could argue John Falcon has not had a fascinating life. But is one’s life enough to create a 74-minute documentary about them? I guess after watching this horribly boring piece I would be forced to say, no not really.
I kept telling myself that I should like this documentary because John’s life is so interesting, but John, the man, just isn’t. His presence didn’t hold me in the slightest. I sat watching all the pathetic, money-grubbing people in his life discuss him and I waited for some type of emotion to come out of him, yet it never came. There was nothing, it was like watching a zombie without the bad makeup or the cheesy special effects. I wanted him to react in some way, any way, just so I would be able to either like him, hate him or feel pity for him. As it was, I felt nothing for him. That a man could be so hidden in himself that his personality can’t even be captured on film is interesting. I can certainly see why the filmmaker saw John as a worthy person to film, however someone needed to buy the guy some personality pills, or some valium. Oh wait; maybe I needed the Valium to watch this. In fact, the person who made me watch this should feel free to send them to me immediately or sooner as an apology.
The people in John’s life were much more entertaining, although pathetically so, than he was. His mother was frustrating and obviously struggling with some serious mental illness. His “best friend” who had not spoken to John in 10 years and suddenly contacted him after his windfall, was so obvious and disgusting I was squirming in my chair. She kept trying to get John to sleep with her and it was making me sick to my stomach. The only people, who I felt really understood, loved and appreciated John was his sister and her kids. They seemed to really want him to enjoy his life and they truly seemed to listen to him and take his words seriously.
All the reviews I have read about this film have called John “hilarious” and “gregarious” and his mother “domineering and funny.” I have no idea where these reviewers live but it must be next to the most boring people in the universe, since none of the characters here were “hilarious” by any stretch. Word to my audience, you should watch this because you won’t believe the life this guy has lived, he certainly deserves some credit in this regard, but you will be so bored with his on-screen presence you will want to steal money from him, too.

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