March 21, 2003 0 By Fans
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New Orleans, 1981. Sonny Phillips, just discharged from the Army, returns home. The only life he's known is as a gigolo…

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 5.6/10 (2,341 voted)

Critic's Score: 31/100

Nicolas Cage

Stars: James Franco, Brenda Blethyn, Mena Suvari

New Orleans, 1981. Sonny Phillips, just discharged from the Army, returns home. The only life he's known is as a gigolo, working for his mother, but he wants to leave that behind. However, the job his Army buddy promised doesn't materialize, and he can't escape his past.


James Franco


Brenda Blethyn


Harry Dean Stanton


Mena Suvari


Seymour Cassel


Brenda Vaccaro


Josie Davis


Willie Metcalf


Janet Shea

Wealthy Woman

Cary Wilmot Alden


Nicolas Cage

Acid Yellow

Scott Caan


Graham Timbes


Wallace Merck


Doug Barden

Maitre d'

His life was the morning after, until he decided to change the night before.


Official Website:
Official site |

Release Date: 21 March 2003

Filming Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Opening Weekend: $17,639
(29 December 2002)
(6 Screens)

Gross: $17,639
(29 December 2002)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


In 2010, New York Magazine reported that while doing research for his role in
Sonny, 'James Franco' visited male strip clubs in New Orleans and also followed a male prostitute around, even into a hotel room while the prostitute did his job.

User Review


Rating: 8/10

I guess it's hard to address serious issues when you're dealing with a
plot about a flamboyant southern belle who raises her son to be a
natural-born-whore, because this movie is considered to be a failure
even though it really isn't. It's neither the ready-made slice-of-life
that Sundance specializes in, nor is it an innovative film like "Pi,"
so casual independent fans have little reason to like this (they
probably dislike Paul Morrissey, too). So there's already a few
misconceptions about the film, but add to that that it's an actor's
film: what else are we supposed to expect from Nicolas Cage? The movie
is a mix of piano music and prostitution, and it's just like Cage's
acting — hyper-real and over-the-top, classy and trashy at once.

The movie is partially a series of differing acting styles — Blethyn's
comic exaggeration, Franco's sleepy mysteriousness, Stanton's quiet
control, Cage's funhouse tricks. But I think Cage deserves a certain
amount of credit — he doesn't scuzzify the material or romanticize it;
he creates some interesting scenes (and handles most of the more
potentially offensive ones with as close to grace as possible); he
indulges all of his actors. And there is some real pain in the story,
about not being able to switch jobs, and how vagabonds have nothing to
show for their life. There are times when this goes where few films do
in terms of honesty, yet the script does have increasing problems as it
goes along. A scene like the one where Cage makes his appearance, seen
through Sonny's drunken haze, works only because of the oddness of it;
it feels stolen from other films because it's supposed to be there for
the type of movie this is. But the film is at its best when it resists
any "type." 8/10