Pat Pitsenbarger (Kier), or ‘Mister Pat’, as he likes to be known, lives in the small Ohio community of Sandusky. He used to cut the hair of socialites by day and by night lived out his fantasy on stage at the local gay bar, the Universal Fruit and Nut Company. But times have changed and he gets by in a drab retirement home. However, a once close friend (_Dynasty_’s Linda Evans, who makes a cameo appearance late in the film) gives him a chance to turn things around. Her attorney offers Pat $25,000 to make her look presentable in her coffin. Pat has no problem evading the security in his home, but soon finds the journey across town more than a little eventful for someone his age.
Kier began his career as an actor appearing in Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey’s arthouse horror films. Since then, he has been a mainstay in Lars von Trier’s films and all manner of genre and arthouse fare, playing demented killers, mad doctors and a variety of mostly supporting roles. But in Todd Stephens’ film, based on a character in his hometown (where the film is shot) who inspired the director’s own coming out, Kier takes the lead. He avoids lazy stereotyping of Pat, instead investing in him humour and pathos. It’s a career-best performance by the actor, in a film that is both generous and touching.