Zero Patience (2003): Canadian Musical about AIDS (LGBTQ)

The Canadian-produced Zero Patience is a movie musical about AIDS, taking its title from Patient Zero, the nickname given to the French-Canadian flight attendant presumed to have been the first known gay man to spread the HIV virus in America.


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Narratively, Zero Patience tells a fictional story about a romance between Patient Zero and Victorian sexologist and explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton. Having discovered the Fountain of Youth, Burton, now working as curator of the Museum of Natural History, is anxious to add Patient Zero to his Hall of Contagion.

Structurally, The movie combines street theatre, direct address to the audience and political speeches.

Some of the numbers are passable, such as “Pop a Boner,” a rousing rundown of bathhouse etiquette, or “The Butthole Duet,” which features a pair of singing sphincters discussing anal intercourse.

Rude and crude (by design), Zero Patience boldly thumbs its nose at the specter of death. But, ultimately, the movie’s originality and buoyant gaiety are marred by its muddled plot and poor acting.