Saturday, April 16, 2005

FILM: Eating Out

Eating Out was fun, fun, fun! I haven't laughed so much in a long time. The tagline for this movie is "the fastest way to a girl's heart is through her gay best friend". Here's the gist: Caleb wants Gwen, while Caleb's roommate Kyle wants Gwen's best friend Marc, but of course Marc wants Caleb. Kyle convinces Caleb to pretend to be gay in order to win Gwen through Marc. Sexy, hysterical mayhem ensues. This clever film plays with the perennial themes of love and sex, adding a playful twist on sexual orientation to create a "comedy of manners" for the 21st century. Instead of 18th century disguises, sexual orientation is the mask, and there are cellphones instead of screens, but the comedy is just as classic. And what truly makes it work, as with any good comedy of manners, is the keen insight into our human nature. Writer/director Q. Allan Brocka clearly knows all about wanting what we can't have, pretending not to want what we really most want, and other such games we play, and he's written it incisively into his script with dead-on truth that would be heart-piercing if it weren't so funny at the same time. His ear for language, his queer eye (equally adept at sexy bodies and kitschy architecture), and his sense of timing and pace all make this film really work. He playfully slips in thoughtful juxtapositions that explore acting, pretending, faking and reality, while keeping us laughing for the whole ride. The cast were all superb, including the adorably guileless straight boy Caleb (Scott Lunsford), lusty faghag Gwen (Emily Stiles), kinky erstwhile girlfriend Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan), and star-crossed gay boys Marc (Ryan Carnes, newly resident gay boy on Wisteria Lane) and Kyle (Jim Verraros, a finalist from the first American Idol). We thoroughly enjoyed this.

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