Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 23, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

We gave it a D

The incomprehensibility of the title, The Velocity of Gary * (*not his real name), is nothing compared with the labored artsiness and heaps o’ high-pitched acting in this tortured drama — originally (and no doubt more effectively) a solo theater piece by James Still about a bisexual porn actor dying of AIDS, and the man and woman who love him. The usually well-tuned Vincent D’Onofrio, with long, greasy Dracula hair, plays the ailing Valentino, smooching sloppily with Thomas Jane (The Thin Red Line) as the street hustler Gary, and canoodling with Salma Hayek as a tough diner waitress so bursting with life, she’s most comfortable only in a bra. A deaf drag queen who lip-synchs to Patsy Cline has nothing to do with the story, but totters through anyway. D

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