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The performances, particularly from Kline, Cusack, and a very unexpected Tom Selleck, are nothing short of brilliant; the script is both witty and funny and moves a long at a fast pace; and everything about the films leaves you wishing (unless you happen to be hysterically homophobic) that things really turned out like that in real life. Realistic movie? Of course not--but then neither was "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" or "Meet John Doe" or "It Happened One Night." Kind and clever and witty and lots of fun? Absolutely. And any one who is kind and clever and witty will have lots of fun watching it.
Director Frank Oz and screenwriter Paul Rudnick turn potential controversy and a touchy subject into a riotous, slapstick comedy with some of the wittiest and funniest dialogue in years. Kevin Kline as the 'possibly' gay teacher and Joan Cusack as the insufferable and patient fiancee are in top form (Cusack was nominated for an Oscar). The supporting cast are all veterans and even Tom Selleck does a turn for the better with his acting.
There is nothing but hilarity, joy and even tenderness between the characters with unexpected twists and character turnabouts that will soften even the most jaded. This is worth seeing if only for Joan Cusack where with a mouth full of bar nuts runs screaming into the street yelling, "Is this the twilight zone?!" Yes, the ending is happy - even more so.
Kevin Kline was consistently good and one of the best scenes was when he tested himself by playing a tape "exploring one's masculinity" at home. He failed in almost all the tests given by the deep bass voice on the tape, none more so with the dancing test. He simply could not refrain from responding to the rhythm, music and pleasure. His dance sequence was analogous to the one by Hugh Grant in Love Actually. Only that Kevin Kline moved like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance!
Even though the second half of the story conformed to the usual Hollywood formula, the gay man stereotyped and the u-turn of the townsfolk response not quite convincing, the movie was very watchable as a whole. Tom Selleck in a supporting role was charming. And the picture-postcard town provided ever stretching green pastures, beautiful small houses and a stunning view of stately school campus.
Paul Rudnick's wickedly clever script takes its cue from Tom Hanks' real-life acceptance speech at the 1994 Oscars, in which the latter thanked his GAY high school teacher for inspiring him to make the movie Philadelphia. In the movie it is Matt Dillon who makes the same speech after winning the Best Actor Award in another supposedly "breakthrough" gay-themed film. (This movie-within-a-movie is itself a gay parody of Born on the Fourth of July.)
Rudnick's gift for creating memorable characters and hilarious dialogue make this the kind of movie that can be watched over and over again. At the same time, he also achieves what no "serious" gay movie has succeeded in doing: he exposes the absurdity of homophobia. Humour, rather than preaching, is his weapon.
Special mention should be made of Tom Selleck, whose jaded trash reporter is one of his most enjoyable - and daring - portrayals.
A riot from start to finish.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite movies.Published 3 days ago by looks DUMB. who would buy this crap. it just shows words.
Love Kevin Kline and Joan Cusackin this movie! So funny and it always makes me laugh!Published 6 days ago by Kiba's Mom
The Courage to make such a great movie about real people and unconditional lovePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer