“The Matinee Idol” by Owen Keehnen— Back When in Hollywood

Keehnen, Owen. “The Matinee Idol”, Independently Published, 2016.

Back When in Hollywood

Amos Lassen

How many times have we heard that the tinsel in Hollywood has tarnished? We have all heard the stories of lies and deceit that have taken place there and how so and so screwed his/her way to stardom.

Owen Keehnen is a writer I have been reading for years now and I have enjoyed whatever he has written. In “The Matinee Idol” he takes us back to Hollywood in 1925 and we meet Raymond, a young man who has left his home in Iowa to come to Hollywood to become a star. One night while at a beach party, he meets Brick, a guy from Montana and the cowboy of Raymond’s dreams. From that initial meeting the two fell in love and soon were living together. Then Raymond’s career took off and he had to made a decision between Brick and becoming a star. It is quite easy to see that if he had chosen Brick, the story would be over but Ray found ambition to be more powerful than love only to realize that the regrets he feels will be with him forever and he has not just wounded Brick but himself as well.

While this is fiction, it could also be a true story when we think about the homophobia of Hollywood, even today. I wonder what happened to the destiny that Ray once felt with Brick and why was it so easy to toss it aside.

Ray becomes a star but he soon is swallowing opiates prescribed by a doctor so that he can give the kind of performances his audiences want to see as well as uppers so that he can look fresh and peppy on the screen but working eighteen hour days under the influence has its effect on him and the he begins to spiral downward. He soon loses his status as a matinee idol. He loses everything and will do whatever it takes to stay alive and he finds Brick again and the two reconnect. We see by this the love that Brick felt for Ray and I know that had it been me who had been pushed aside for a career, there would not have been a reconciliation. Evidently the love the two men shared was very, very strong.

This is an easy read and will appeal to everyone is in concerned with Hollywood gossip. I looked beyond that and saw that once again Owen Keehnen has created very real characters with very real situations and while this is melodramatic, it has some very hot sex scenes. Forgiveness never comes easy as we are all aware and the love the two shared lasted even though separation.