Waiting in line outside a New York City club is a humbling, often humiliating experience. You certainly didn’t wear your Louboutins for nothing. Trevor W., a fictitious doorman at an exclusive New York club said it best: “The doorman is God really at the door.” Wayne Price’s mockumentary, The Doorman, follows Trevor — a self-absorbed, late-twentysomething metrosexual — played by Argentinean actor Lucas Akoskin. Trevor avoids cultural identification by refusing to name where he’s from. Spying a camera crew, Trevor is only too happy to invite them backstage at New York’s Fashion Week to capture him double-kiss designers and play with models’ hair. In a limo, Trevor tells the camera, “You don’t have to be big. You can be small. All you need is people to think you’re big. You just need connections. The only connection you need is me.” And the movie pretty much goes on like that.
In E! True Hollywood Story fashion, the camera alternates between shots of celebrities shouting “Hi!” to Trevor, following him to dressing rooms where he parades uniform options, and interviews with real-life scenesters such as Frederick Lesort of Frederick’s and Amy Sacco of Bungalow 8. Trevor is hot, and he won’t let you forget it. He leads the audience around the country working at special events to prove his maxim: “If you don’t know me, it’s game over.”
In Miami, Trevor and a couple arm-candy bimbos give a tour of his stunning apartment, complete with a poster-sized image of a blindfolded female nude. In Las Vegas, he gorges at the all-you-can-eat buffets and complains that the major hotels fight over who gets to host him. In LA, he turns bus belonging to the band 311 into a VIP bus simply by standing outside, arms crossed. His delusions of grandeur come crashing to a Britney-esque end after he fails to recognize Nicholas Cage. At the same time Trevor is blacklisted from his coveted job, Price loses the audience’s attention. Trevor tries to become a TV actor, a rock star, and even works as a doorman for the Superbowl, but his antics fall flat. Singing “Ave Maria” in a silver wig with an ambiguous Latin accent just isn’t funny. Trevor dines with actor Peter Bogdanovich, but even when Trevor confuses “dairy” and “dirty,” it’s clear Bogdanovich carries the scene. As the final blow, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy design expert Thom Filicia rejects Trevor because Thom can’t in good conscious propose that a man living in Chelsea wear a matching turquoise shirt and pants for the “straight guy” role.
Allegedly comical symbolism is heavy at the end, when Trevor stands at the PetCo door, deciding which owners and their domesticated dates can get it. After all, what’s the real difference between a glorified warehouse in the Meatpacking District and a corporate pet store, other than the types of animals inside?
As Trevor, Akoskin is best posing for the camera and strutting his star quality. Up close, and especially at the end, he’s just a poor Borat impersonator with a velvet rope. The film is funniest during the credits, when Trevor bans entry to a subway car and a path in Central Park. While clubbers and Page Six readers might snicker at Trevor’s hubris and relish the decline of the last doorman who had the gall to reject their Jimmy Choos and custom jeans, unlike, say, Best in Show, relatively little of this mockumentary appeals to a larger audience. Don’t bother waiting in line.