Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story, review: ‘a Goth rock groupie delivering a kiss and tell memoir’

Laura Albert created J.T. LeRoy.

Laura Albert created J.T. LeRoy. - Credit: Archant

Film tells the story of Laura Albert’s creation of J.T. LeRoy, a 13 year old, drug addicted, son of a prostitute, gender confused child author

J.T. LeRoy did a terrible thing, the worst thing you can do in 21st Century society – she upset celebrities.

She did this by being an author who made stuff up, and in so doing invalidating their supportive, heartfelt, emotional guff.

Laura Albert, an overweight American girl in her late twenties created the persona of 13 year old, drug addicted, son of a prostitute, gender confused kid, called J.T. LeRoy, who spent his time at truck stops while mummy made some money.

As a documentary about an unreliable narrator, Author takes an unusual step – it lets her tell her own story.

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This is further confused by the fact that the person telling us this story doesn’t bear much resemblance to the person she describes.

The Laura Albert we see talking to camera (we see her a lot, nobody else gets much screen time) resembles a Goth rock groupie delivering a kiss and tell memoir.

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It’s quite a tale to keep track of. Feeling suicidal she phones a child helpline and invents a persona to express her feelings.

Soon she starts writing and writes books that are like Last Exit to Brooklyn written as a misery memoir.

Initially reclusive, as she gets more famous and more celebrities are drawn towards her work she gets her boyfriend’s sister to don a blonde wig and pose as J.T. while she puts on an English accent to become his manager, Speedy.

Lost in the whole scandal is that Albert must be a phenomenally gifted writer to have been able to write outside of her experience so credibly – much more so than if she had simply recorded her life.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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