Friday, June 22, 2018


By José Alberto Hermosillo

“Hooked” is a compelling, eye-opening work of fiction close to reality that awakens the consciousness of the homeless problem of America’s unprotected youth. 

The story is a gay drama that mirrors our modern-day society and chronicles the untried days of Jack, a handsome escort tangled in drugs and prostitution.

Besides performing semi-naked with his guitar on the streets of New York, the free-spirited young hustler also gains a few extra bucks doing tricks with men and women.

Jack (Conor Donnally) also enjoys playing pranks on the streets with his supportive, naïve boyfriend Tom (Sean Ormond), a penniless aspiring photographer.

In search of their own identity, they plan to move out of the shelter to a place of their own and live happily ever after. As the days pass, they discover that life is not a fairy tale.

Jack has promised not to get “Hooked” on drugs until his 18th birthday, but it’s tough for kids at this age to keep those promises alive, mainly when his birthday is around the corner.

Meanwhile, Terrence Murphy plays Ken, a mature, religious, but confused film producer who wants to go out and have fun with guys while his wife has to take care of their baby at home.

Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017

Resembling the gay version of “Pretty Woman,” Jack and Ken meet for dinner in an expensive restaurant. Quickly, Ken invites “the boy” on a trip to his penthouse in Miami, something Jack had never dreamed of. Jack is ambitious and territorial, mostly with people he cares for. 

Triggered by jealousy, Jack decides to go to the treacherous streets of Florida to continue his life involved in drugs and prostitution. Life can be harsh for young, “dazed and confused” people.

This film reveals Jack’s enormous need for belonging as he cries out loud to be accepted, loved, and respected. Redemption may be on its way.  

Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017

Actor Conor Donnally is a revelation—the camera loves him. He articulates Jack’s emotions with perfect body language, showing happiness and internal pain at the same time.

Max Emerson, writer/director/celebrity
Copyrights @ Festival in LA 2016

Applauding this unique, character-driven first project of writer/director Max Emerson (“Eastsiders,” “Hit the Floor,” and the “Glee” TV Series). He took his celebrity status to crowd-funding a film that focuses on LGBTQ+ youth matters and how to help solve this problem.

“Hooked” has some string clichés and unrealistic situations that could be avoidable. For some viewers, this film could be frustrating, making them wonder if, in general, all gay people behave like this in real life. 

Overall, the actors did a compelling job pulling off the strings of the complex and paradoxical subject matter of being gay and homeless in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. 

According to new statistics, in America, LGBTQ+ young people are eight times more likely to be homeless. Those kids are twice as likely to be sexually abused, develop a severe drug addiction, have psychological problems, or even commit suicide.

The producers will donate 50% of the proceeds to not-for-profit organizations helping troubled young people.

For more information on how you can help, give, volunteer, or become a foster parent, please visit:

Partner organizations include the Ali Forney Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Albert Kennedy Trust (UK), Lost and Found, and GLAAD.

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Festival in LA ©2018

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