Dec 5, 2010

[Movies] The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green (2005)

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green (2005)The gay movie industry is relatively young when you compare it to the mainstream market. That means there's still a lot of room to sort of "rediscover" different parts of that industry, including going mad with sequels or trying to go for ridiculous remakes. Then there's the effort to create adaptations of popular work.

I can't think of a mainstream movie that is also an adaptation of an LGBT comic series. Sure, regular comic book adaptations are like a dime a dozen but for something that's actually gay-focused, well that's a rarity indeed. Then again, it's not like there are many highly popular comic book series with an LGBT target market out there, at least not as far as I know. The challenge for such titles is how difficult it is to break into mainstream media and often times such comic book artists seem to occupy an area of the food chain that seems below your traditional independent comic book creator, if you catch my drift.

Whether or not this particular comic should have indeed been turned into a movie is a subject that is open for debate. At the very least it still made for a fairly interesting movie concept, if I do say so myself.

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green is a 2005 movie adaptation of the comic book series of the same name as created by Eric Orner. The movie was directed by George Bamber and written by David Vernon.

The movie is naturally focused around our protagonist, Ethan Green (Daniel Letterle) and his struggles with life and love in West Hollywood. He lives with his lesbian roommate Charlotte (Shanola Hampton), ironically in a house that is owned by his ex-boyfriend Leo (David Monahan). The movie starts with Ethan currently dating pro-baseball player Kyle Underhill (Diego Serrano) and thereafter facing the news that Leo now plans to sell the house. Thus in an effort to resolve that little problem, Ethan tries to get Kyle to offer to have them start living together even though they had been dating for only a few months.

In order to give Ethan more time, Ethan is able to work out a deal with young real estate agent Punch (Dean Shelton) such that he assigns their world real estate agent to try and broker the sale. Enter Sunny Deal (Rebecca Lowman), the terminally depressed, cigarette chain-smoking agent who carries a chip on her shoulder the size of the Himalayas. At the same time, Ethan starts to realize that he wants to get back together with Leo but is unable to since (1) he's involved with Kyle and (2) Leo is "engaged" to get married to gay Republican Chester Baer (Scott Atkinson). To top it all off, Ethan's mother (Meredith Baxter), who is an event planner, has also taken on the job of arranging the wedding for them.

As is the nature of anything based on comic book or any book for that matter, the movie is filled with interestingly complex and highly dynamic characters, which I feel can generally be a good thing. There was a definite effort to portray all the characters and their unique quirks as best as they could while still moving the plot along. I mean come on, even the Hat Sisters (Richard Riehle and Joel Brooks) still had their decent enough share of screen time.

Daniel Letterle has certainly come a long way since we first saw him in the musically-rich movie Camp. The role demanded he act in a more obviously gay or effeminate manner and he generally carried that off pretty well. Plus he actually did seem pretty comfortable with all the nudity involved in his role and I can imagine a lot of fans going for that even though he's straight despite all appearances. He was in no way nearly as hot (from a muscle definition perspective) as he was in Camp, but then again that just means he now appeals to a segment of the gay population. Everyone has their market after all.

The overall plot was generally shallow and yet complex enough in terms of plot twists to keep things interesting. At times it felt like the sequences were probably a heck of a lot funnier in the original comic (as I imagined things) versus how they were depicted in the movie, thus speaking to my problems with some of the directing in the movie. It was still generally funny, but some of the potential humor definitely didn't carry through well when you get down to it.

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green is definitely a light LGBT comedy and one that's good for a lazy night with friends and probably a decent amount of alcohol. It gets 3 silly sex scenes out of a possible 5.
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