By Leah Rozen
August 02, 1999 12:00 PM

Christian Campbell, John Paul Pitoc

The title, implying a sordid quickie, is meant to be a joke. A hit at this year’s Sundance festival, trick is a gay romantic comedy that follows the broad conventions of traditional Hollywood movies. Boy meets boy, and so on. Out at a bar, Gabriel (Campbell), a dimpled aspiring writer of musicals, picks up a muscled dancer, Mark (Pitoc), whose face has a look of troubled sensitivity. Gabriel’s problem is finding a place to get more intimate. His straight roomie already has company. As night stretches into dawn and the two remain bedless, the story becomes not about sex—there isn’t any—but budding love.

The film takes place in a Manhattan that’s as much a movieland concoction as the swingers’ nightscape of Eyes Wide Shut. It’s cheerful in a clunky, obvious way, as might be expected from a director (Jim Fall) whose theater credits include Cute Boys in Their Underpants Go to France. Tiny as bikini underwear, trick is not in the same league as the recent Get Real. (R)

Bottom Line: Not-very-wild boys’ night out