Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
"The main trait that separates my people from yours is that we mean you no harm."
Guy Stone (Matt Lescher) is a major movie star who is gay and in the closet. His agent, Jerry (Veronica Cartwright) and a producer convince Guy to play straight and get married to an adoring secretary, Sally (Carrie Preston). [Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates, anyone?] But while Guy tries to maintain his usual lifestyle with an inquisitive and horny wife, he meets Rick (Adam Greer), the handsome and angry author whose book is being turned into Stone's latest movie, and the two fall in love. Then a scandal breaks, and Guy has to choose whether he wants the man or his career. This probably was cute enough as a play, where one could relate to the actors right on stage in front of you, but its "queeny" gay humor is a little passe [jokes about Judy Garland and transvestism!] and the only thing that makes you realize this is supposed to take place during the McCarthy era is the occasional hairstyle -- there is absolutely no period atmosphere whatsoever, and the characters talk more as if it were the 21st century than the 1950's -- Day should have done a little research, for Pete's sake. The picture goes completely awry at the end when Guy is questioned as to whether or not he is a "homosexual communist." There are disturbing pot shots at lesbians, one of whom is actually played by a man in drag! While she is miscast, Veronica Cartwright [of Alien] as Guy's agent at least resists playing her character like a butch stereotype. The other actors are all well-cast and on target, however, with Lescher doing a wonderful balancing act between serious and farce, and Greer and Preston equally good. The movie has some amusing bits and some good lines but it's a shame that such an interesting premise had to be turned into what is basically a 90 minute sitcom like the awful Will and Grace. I mean, even today there are plenty of movie stars in the closet.
Verdict: Nice idea; so-so execution, but most of the actors are solid. **1/2.