Sunday, August 16, 2015

In and Out

Movie Name: In & Out
Year of Release: 1997
Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds, Wilford Brimley, Bob Newhart, Gregory Jbara, Shalom Harlow, Shawn Hatosy, Lauren Ambrose, Zak Orth, Alexandra Olden, Deborah Rush
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Director Frank Oz has had its fair share of successes, "In & Out" being one of them (the others being for instance "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Housesitter" and "Little Shop of Horrors"). "In & Out" based on an original script by Paul Rudnick (who also wrote "Jeffrey" and "Adams Family Values"), follows the story of Howard Brackett, a small town high school English teacher, who suddenly finds himself in the middle of unwanted attention, when one of his former pupils, a now famous actor, outs him during his acceptance speech upon receiving his Oscar. Howard, who's been engaged for quite sometime to his long suffering bride Emily, tries to deny it at first, until things start to quickly unravel. When a gossip reporter by the name of Peter Malloy comes to town to unmask the situation, Howard has to come to terms with who he is.
"In & Out" is an extremely funny comedy that anchors its laughs in exposing the ridicule that bellies the prejudices and cliches that people in general associate with gay individuals and culture. The film doesn't fall prey to making a mockery of difference, instead it celebrates the diversity of individuals, and ultimately is successful in making the characters feel human (and not just the usual cliches). It's a film that lacks the biting satire from Billy Wilder, but makes its point across with clever plays on cliches that everyone associates with the gay culture (Barbra Streisand albums, dancing, and quite a few more). The cast is uniformly excellent, particularly the always fantastic Joan Cusack who once again steals the film in a role perfectly tailored for her. A very good comedy with a good heart, always worth revisiting.