Aug 1, 2010

[Movies] All Over The Guy (2001)

All Over The Guy (2001)Gay movies tend to predominantly fall in the same general category of chick flicks, with the exception that the protagonists are both guys. I know, it sounds like a horrible generalization, but you have to admit there's a certain degree of truth to this, especially when Hollywood is concerned. They tend to view the gay male population as being more feminine than anything and thus the same general movie formula should work for the gays as well. A harsh statement, but still generally true. After all, Hollywood is a business that relies on is ability to lump people together into categories and release movies targeting these demographics.

It's not a total loss though - we do need movies that we can somewhat relate to and it's always nice to see gay characters written as anything other than comic relief. There are definitely some well thought-out LGBT characters out there within such genre movies and this still helps us in a general sense. More pink movies of decent quality means a better appreciation for what this community is really about.

Plus it becomes a lot more interesting when more familiar actors and actresses decide to star in LGBT movies. Some might argue that this is what has-been actors do in order to revive their careers with a bit of culture. Others might say that this is about them wanting to "come out" in a big way, or at least generate modest controversy by generating gay rumors. Whatever it is, we need more quality talent getting involved in the LGBT movie industry.

All Over The Guy is a 2001 LGBT romantic comedy (yes another one) with pretty good character concepts at its center. The screenplay was written by one of the leads, Dan Bucatinsky, and was directed by Julie Davis.

The story of the movie is largely narrated in the form of a shared flashback. At an HIV clinic. Eli (Dan Bucatinsky) is waiting for his results while talking to the clinic receptionist on duty at the time. He finds himself making small talk that leads to the flashback. Meanwhile at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Tom (Richard Ruccolo) has struck up a conversation with another guy at the meeting and starts to tell his side of the flashback story.

Tom and Eli had been set up on a blind date by their friends Jackie (Sasha Alexander) and Brett (Adam Goldberg), given the couple figure they'd be a good match for some reason. Eli is fairly neurotic given the upbringing of his psychologist parents. Tom is the son of alcoholic parents who is scarred in his own way. The date initially seems like a disaster since the two barely hit it off and can't seem to manage to maintain a conversation. However they encounter one another again later on and they start to see there is more of a common ground between them than they initially assumed. Thus starts their friendship of sorts and perhaps a budding relationship - but you'll have to watch the rest of the movie to see how that pans out. After all, this is still a flashback and the convoluted path from point A to point B has a lot of twists and turns indeed.

It's interesting to note that this was Dan's first writing venture for a feature-length movie given screen writing has always been more his partner Don Roos' thing, but the story was certainly entertaining enough. The characters were well flesh-out with rich back stories that truly interconnect with the overall plot at many levels. His portrayal of the role of Eli was pretty good too and I wonder how much of the characters were written based on personal experience.

Poster showing the main cast of Two Guys and a...Image via Wikipedia
It was a bit of a surprise to see Ruccolo in this movie since most of us probably remember him as the guy who wasn't Ryan Reynolds on 2 Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place. I can't help but feel he was cast as the borderline eye candy for the movie beyond any "serious" acting aspirations on the part of Ruccolo. No complaints though - he handled things well enough and didn't appear too uncomfortable with the role at all. Not that he played an overly effeminate character though - he was fairly straight-laced in his characterization and this worked with his role.

The overall tone of the movie was nicely light and easy to follow. It didn't feel too much like a set piece or something mangled and twisted until it fit a predefined mold. It was just a good story told in a decently creative but more importantly in a clear manner. The movie is nicely light and quite enjoyable but not necessarily over-the-top funny, which works for me. I was never a fan of the more inane, slapstick style comedies that seem so prevalent these days. In this regard I'm glad that the movie didn't go down that route and instead tried to tackle some rather real relationship problems and concepts that many of us should be able to relate to.

Oh, and don't expect too much skin - it's not one of THOSE gay movies.

All Over The Guy is a charming and witty tale of life, love and how complicated a relationship can be. It gets 3.5 problems with the movie In & Out out of a possible 5.
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