|Matt Damon and Michael Douglas|
There seems to be no way around the fact that popular entertainer Liberace (Michael Douglas) was a big, flamboyant, outrageous gay stereotype, and this telefilm makes no attempt to get around it. It is also based on the book by Liberace's [ex] lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon), so really has to be taken with a grain of salt. Thorson appears to be a type of [supposedly bisexual] hustler who moves in on Liberace even as Liberace moves in on him -- and suggests he move in with him. The movie suggests that the promiscuous entertainer eventually wanted to replace Thorson with a younger model, making him little different from a lot of straight guys. The one thing the telefilm has going for it is the acting, with Douglas [The China Syndrome] giving an outstanding performance that almost makes Liberace likable, and Matt Damon [The Departed] is not far behind him. Rob Lowe is also quite good as the shady "feelgood" Dr. Startz. Dan Ackroyd and Cheyenne Jackson [The Most Happy Fella] also have significant roles, and Debbie Reynolds is fine as Liberace's mother. Soderbergh also directed Douglas in Traffic.
Verdict: It's well-acted and certainly holds your attention, even if it often comes off like a gay dirty joke. ***.