Eating Out

2004 (USA) – on selected cinema release in the UK (aah, the joys of living near an artsy cinema in Oxford…)

Effectively a soft-porn film, but with a very sharp script (too sharp, sadly).
Caleb is straight, but his gay roommate Kyle ‘outs’ him to set him up with Gwen. This backfires when Caleb ends up with Marc (Gwen’s best friend), who Kyle is in love with. So they go on a date, things happen, and Kyle gets peeved, so decides to remedy the situation by trying to set Caleb up with Gwen and himself with Marc. This has disastrous consequences, but everything ends up just fine. Very complicated, and hardly original plot (but it has some interesting twists). On top of this, the script tries too hard to get laughs – each actor delivering a perfect pun or cliché or joke at any opportunity (like being sat in a room with four Oscar Wilde’s).

Ultimately, it’s hard to tell whether to take this film seriously or not. It’s deliberately provocative – all Jewish sentimentalities go out the window with the exchange “Who is that?” (referring to a knock on the door), “Like they said to Anne Frank, why don’t you go to the door and find out?”. On top of this, there is too much attention given to the notion of ‘turning people straight/gay’ for some people’s liking. Some of the acting is awful (particularly Jim Verraros, who plays Kyle) and any message the film tries to get across (mainly that you’re not necessarily out of anyone’s league – even in the gay world) is made hollow by the ridiculous turns in the plot and extreme script.

However, the humour does work quite well at times, and if you try not to take everything too seriously, it’s not a bad film. Scott Lunsford (Caleb) shows promise and is involved in the most erotic scene I’ve seen on the silver screen with Ryan Carnes (Marc).

I’m not a huge fan of this film; it’s too corny and too OTT for my liking. However, it certainly gets the pulse going and (strangely for an American film) has full frontal nudity, so probably not one to watch with granny.

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