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|Index||58 reviews in total|
This film was a rare treat in that it presents its subject matter with
dignity and fun. The comedy, directed by Tommy O'Haver never goes for
cheap shots. The story of this somewhat naive photographer trying to
make it in Los Angeles, under another writer/director would have gone
for the 'on your face' attitude, rather than give it the romantic tone
Tommy O'Haver imparted on the movie.
The performances are good. Sean Hayes, who has gone to bigger and better things, is fine as Billy, the photographer. Brad Rowe, as Gabriel, the object of Billy's love, is fine also. Best of all is Meredith Scott Lynn, a fine actress, who is the best asset of this movie. Her Georgina serves to tie all the different plots, and in doing so, she contributes to make the film better. Paul Bartel, Holly Woodlawn and the rest, do a fine job.
Tommy O'Haver made a charming movie about people that are so normal they could be straight for all we know.
This movie starts as a comedy, but somewhere along the way, it becomes a touching drama. The story about Billy who is often rejected by his love interests will give you a very different view of homosexuals, whom often portrayed as a group of people who have sex a lot and always change partners. This movie will show you that that is not the case. It's worth the money.
"Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss"
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)
Sound format: Dolby Stereo
An LA photographer (Sean Hayes) falls madly in lust with an aspiring model (Brad Rowe) who's been hired to pose in a series of pictures inspired by old-time Hollywood movies. But Hayes receives mixed signals from the object of his desire - is he gay, or isn't he? - which leads to complications of the heart...
Described as a 'trifle' by writer-director Tommy O'Haver (ELLA ENCHANTED), this unassuming confection asks little more of its audience than to enjoy the scenery (both geographical and human!) and to pine along with its luckless protagonist as he pursues the hunk of his dreams. Those familiar with Hayes' outrageous turn in TV's "Will & Grace" may be disappointed by his restraint as a bland, scatterbrained idealist who learns the hard way that the course of true love never ran smoothly, especially in LA. Spiced with dream sequences that recreate moments from Hollywood's 'golden age' (most impressively, an Astaire-Rogers dance routine between Hayes and Rowe to the strains of Petula Clark, with drag queens on backing vocals!), the film pays affectionate tribute to the movies of a bygone era, movies which inspire the leading character on his never-ending quest for perfect happiness. Watch out for the magical scene in which Hayes and Rowe share a bed for purely platonic reasons, only to end up touching each other by 'accident'...
Also starring Meredith Scott Lynn (STANDING ON FISHES), Richard Ganoung (PARTING GLANCES), Paul Bartel (EATING RAOUL), Carmine D. Giovinazzo (IN ENEMY HANDS), and Warhol 'superstar' Holly Woodlawn (WOMEN IN REVOLT) as a musical attraction at the gayest party in town! Beautiful widescreen cinematography by Mark Mervis (HELLBENT).
If you watch this movie expecting Sean Hayes to play a Jack McFarland ("Will & Grace") type character, you'll be disappointed. His portrayal of Billy is low-key & pensive. He's adorable (instead of obnoxious & swishy) with a little boy twinkle in his eyes. Billy is a photographer from Indiana who has relocated to Los Angeles. He comes across a waiter/bass player (Brad Rowe as Gabriel, a character I'm not too crazy about) working in a coffee shop, who becomes his model & the object of his affection. Supposedly, Gabriel is straight & has a "girlfriend" in San Francisco. The sexual tension between these two can be cut with a knife (it's nerve wracking.) I especially like the scenes where Billy opens up to Gabriel about his life & experiences. Telling him the types of things you'd only share with someone you truly feel connected to. Is Gabriel gay?? Will they get together??... (The film has great sets, & beautiful colors. There are also hideous drag queens on hand. The one who lip syncs Petula Clark tunes is horrendous looking & it's amusing hearing/seeing Pet Clark's voice come out of that face!)
This is another one of those "discovered by accident while channel
surfing" movies that I am always grateful to have found. Before the
movie was over, I was online buying the DVD. O'Haver must have summoned
all his Indy Film clout to muster the likes of Paul Ganoung, Meredith
Scott Lynn and the fabulous Paul Bartel to lend their talents both on
and off the camera, but the coup of coups was casting Sean Hayes.
Hayes is superb as Billy, a struggling gay photographer yearning for love. He falls for Gabriel (Brad Rowe) who may or may not be gay. The rest of the film dances around the inevitable question and let's just say that things have a way of working out for the best, albeit differently from what we often expect.
Actor, writer, director and absolute gay icon Paul Bartel, who unfortunately passed away a couple of years after Screen Kiss, is deliciously unctuous as a would be mentor. Brad Rowe is passable, if a little lightweight, and benefits immeasurably from his co-star. Sean Hayes, even before the runaway success of Will and Grace, demonstrates the comedic genius that steals almost every scene. Spliced throughout the movie are several numbers by Mr. Dan, a notable drag artist and promoter from L.A., and as Petula Clark he helps generate the sheer joy of watching this movie.
If you remember Lou Reed's classic "Take a Walk on the Wild Side" you may enjoy watching Holly Woodlawn ("Holly came from Miami F-L-A" - yes THAT Holly) as the party hostess.
The DVD commentary is worthwhile, and offers an inside view of the resourcefulness it takes to make a good indie film. It does not detract from the importance of BHSK that it is not an original film. O'Haver had been toying with the basic story idea since his earlier Catalina, but in BHSK the story is more fully developed and humorous. Touching, moving, gentle and risqué, an uplifting and life-affirming message wrapped in a carnival of Angelean queer decadence.
Considered in the context of an initial effort by a young director, I thought this was a very nice film. As a gay man, I found the characters all very believable and recognizable, and the protagonist Billy utterly charming. All in all, skillful, original and sweet. Don't go in expecting a deep cinematic experience, but accept it for what it is and I don't think you will be disappointed. However, those who are not gay or who cannot empathize with the gay experience, will probably not be moved, notwithstanding the director's attempt to show the universal character of human love and experience.
I am a straight guy and I LOVED this movie. My friend told me to rent it and watch it without reading the summary, so I did. I never would have seen this movie otherwise, but I am so glad that I did. It was educational for me as well as entertaining. I definitely recommend seeing this movie to anyone who is deciding whether or not to see it. It was GREAT!!!
One of the very few movies I saw twice this year, and not just because newcomer Brad Rowe is so terribly easy on the eyes. Whether you're gay or straight (although, I suspect, particularly if you're a gay man), you're bound to see yourself on the screen more than once. Billy (Sean P. Hayes) rushes headlong to a place where we've all gone before, a place where angels fear to tread: the Territory of Unrequited Affection. We've all been there; we've all done it. The desire and need for emotional as well as physical intimacy is a great and terrible thing, and Billy's struggle is one we can identify with while still seeing the humor inherent in our own all-too-human endeavors. Bright, cheerful cinematography makes the most of the distinctly L.A. locations (West Hollywood, Catalina Island). Gentle, tender, funny, for the most part honest, and not a diatribe--which meant that I could recommend it to my straight friends, too.
I thought this movie was a masterpiece. The movie is a delicate blend of stereotype and reality, allowing the audience to realize what's real and what's fake. It centers around a young man and his object of affection. The fact that this object of affection is another man throws an interesting twist that makes the audience realize that there is very little difference between gays and straights. Very thoughtful, the wisecracking Billy spends the entire movie trying to figure out if Gabriel (His love from afar) is gay or straight. It centers around relationships and how difficult they are no matter what sexual preference. Superbly done by all actors and actresses, but especially Sean P. Hayes.
I rented this movie and bought it the very next day. It was probably the
most real movie about relationships that I've seen in several years. It
continues to make me laugh after screening it at least five times. Great
acting and filming. It also has an excellent use of color.
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