A high school English teacher is outed as a gay man by a former student while accepting an Academy Award. Comedy ensues in the teacher's private life and small town where he teaches. Story rumored to be loosely based upon Tom Hanks acceptance speech when receiving his Academy Award for "Philadelphia". Written by
Doug Sharp <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Mildly Amusing Movie That Turns Ridiculous At The End
I suppose that in 1997 Hollywood wasn't quite at the point of openly celebrating homosexuality, so one might want to give some credit to those who put this movie together for having shown a little bit of courage. One simply wishes that credit could be given them for having put together a really good movie, and in my opinion "In & Out" doesn't qualify on that count. It's the story of Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline)
a small town high school English teacher who on the eve of his
wedding is outed by a former student who happens to win an Oscar and who then has to go through what can only be described as a period of self-discovery as he comes to terms with being homosexual. To me, that was the first problem with this movie. Howard didn't really have to turn out to be gay. The movie would have been funnier (and perhaps even more thought provoking) had Brackett remained defiantly straight in spite of the stereotypically gay aspects to his life and the town's belief after the Oscar speech that he was gay. (In fact, I thought that identifying him as gay given the presence of those stereotypes might actually have been rather insulting to the gay community, as well as to straight men who like poetry and believe in dressing neatly!)
Kline was decent enough in the role, and largely carried the film. Aside from him, most of the other cast members (although fine actors) were people not really noted for their success on the big screen. Folks like Tom Selleck and Wilford Brimley and Bob Newhart are good actors but not big movie stars. I actually thought that the funniest (if very small) role in the movie was that of the super model Sonya, played by an actress named Shalom Harlow (Speaking of stereotypes, I loved her oh-so stereotypical model line "I promised to do that photo shoot this afternoon. I have to shower and vomit!") In the end, what really turned me off about this movie was the ridiculous ending, starting with the graduation ceremony (and, to be honest, even if someone decided that the graduation was really necessary, the movie should have ended there, rather than proceeding on with the totally unnecessary nuptials at the end.)
Basically, I got a few chuckles out of this but nothing more. 3/10
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?