All of Greenleaf, Indiana is watching this year's telecast of the Oscars as Hollywood heartthrob and local boy made good Cameron Drake has been nominated for his first ever Best Actor Oscar for his latest movie role as a gay soldier. Cameron's high school English teacher Howard Brackett is overjoyed when Cameron wins the award and mentions Howard's contribution in his acting life. That joy turns to horror when Cameron mentions to the worldwide audience that Howard is gay, especially horrific to Howard as he is engaged to fellow teacher Emily Montgomery, a woman with self-esteem issues as she had battled weight issues most of her life before she lost seventy-five pounds for the wedding. Howard's life is totally disrupted as Hollywood media descends on Greenleaf in order to get Howard's story. The rest of Greenleaf also openly wonders if Howard is indeed gay, as he exhibits many stereotypical gay tendencies, such as being neat, loving music, dancing and poetry, loving Barbra Streisand. ... Written by
One of Kevin Kline's Best Performances in a Great Comedy...
Kevin Kline offers a brilliant comic turn in the 1997 comedy IN & OUT. Kline plays Howard Brackett, a small town history teacher who excitedly sits down to watch the Academy Awards this year because one of his former students (Matt Dillon) is a nominee. He is nominated for his performance in a film where he plays a gay soldier and when he wins, he thanks Howard in his speech for inspiring him because Howard is gay. Now this floors Howard because he as no clue why thus guy would say this on international television. Howard is even engaged to be married (to Joan Cusack, in an Oscar-nominated performance)so he has no idea where Dillon;s Cameron Drake got the idea that he is gay and finds he has to defend himself to everyone at school but is shocked that no one seemed terribly shocked by what Cameron said on the Oscars. Howard has a birthday party where he is given birthday presents like the soundtrack to YENTL and ends up explaining to his guests why Barbra Streisand had to make FUNNY LADY. His parents (Wilford Brimley, Debbie Reynolds) are shocked but promise to support their son, even if he is gay. He also gets a visit from an out of town reporter (Tom Selleck) who wants to do an article about him because he's gay too. The moment when Selleck plants a big kiss right on Kline's lips is a classic. But all of these little things have Howard actually questioning his sexuality and wondering if he really is gay...much to the aggravation and frustration of his fiancée, Cusack, who is beyond confused. The scene where she leaves a bar in her wedding gown and stands in the middle of street screaming about the lack of single straight men in the world is a classic. But what I like about this movie is the way Kline fully invests in the role and was not afraid to look foolish or look gay. There is a fabulous scene, probably the most famous from the film, where he buys a record, on how to be macho, and the guy on the record is talking about how real men don't dance and a disco tune comes on (I WILL SURVIVE if memory serves)and the narrator on the record says no matter what you do, don't dance, but Howard can't help himself and he ends up shaking his groove thing all over the room. It's hysterically funny and Kline plays it with sincerity and gusto. The film is not pro or anti gay...it's just a deft and amusing character study about a man trying to figure out exactly who he is. Wonderful film.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?