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any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
Eli (Bucatinsky) enters the
AIDS clinic and regales the receptionist with the sordid tale of his
latest heartbreak: his relationship with Tom (Ruccolo), has ended and he
needs to get an AIDS test before he can move on. Eli and Tom meet
through their (straight) best friends, Brett (Goldberg, hairy as ever)
and Jackie (Alexander). Brett and Jackie wish to knock boots sometime in
the near future, and conveniently, both have single gay friends. Smell a
setup, anyone? Soon Tom, an on-the-wagon/off-the-wagon alcoholic, and
Eli finding themselves meeting for the first time on a blind date at a
bar, where Tom drinks like a fish and Eli is repulsed. The date goes
poorly, but Eli’s hunch that there is more to Tom than a strong jaw
and strapping bod leads him to pursue the relationship. Eli persists
(and persists and persists) until he and Tom are involved in a
pseudo-relationship. With strikingly different upbringings, the men are
an odd pair at best, but Brett and Jackie are determined to make rugged
Tom fall in love with straight-laced Eli. Christina Ricci makes a nice
cameo as Eli’s smart-mouthed sister.
While gay films are not my
area of expertise, I certainly appreciate that Eli and Tom are not
presented as the stereotypically flaming, eccentric homos of the sort
favored by network TV and mainstream Hollywood movies. They are men with
real lives and real histories, and are not simply trolling for random
sex. While Eli is more ready for love than rough-around-the-edges Tom,
their relationship grows and detours with the help of their friends.
Though the relationship seems to occur largely because Brett and Jackie
are pushing them together, Tom and Eli make a charming couple. Their
dissimilarities will make you root for them, all the while wondering
what they see in each other, because the film portrays the relationship
in a strikingly different manner than typical movie romances. Instead of
spelling out all the reasons that Tom and Eli should be together, the
focus is on their differences and the hardships they will inevitably
face. Much more interesting than the "Oh! You’re gay? Me
too! Let’s hook up!" connections that are usually contrived for
television and film. Although the convenience of Brett and Jackie both
having single, slightly compatible, gay friends had me groaning, their
relationship is portrayed in as pure and raw a manner as any
traditional, "straight" romantic comedy. I was pleasantly
surprised to learn that Eli and Tom had other significant parts of their
lives—messed up parents, drinking problems, etc. Bucatinsky is lovable
as Eli, and I’d certainly rent the film again if only to stare at the
adorable Ruccolo. However, I could have done without the best friends.
Jackie is a total fag hag and severely unlikable, and Brett is a
pointless addition to the film. That said, the true focus lies on Eli
and Tom and the notion of opposites attracting. Straight and gay couples
alike can relate to the relationship matters presented in All Over
the Guy. Hollywood is notorious for either outright ignoring
gay relationships, or trivializing them to death, making this flick a
refreshing change from the stereotypical boy-meets-girl fairytale.—reviewed by
a freelance writer living in Denver, with dreams of relocating to the
Big Apple in the near future. She spends the cold Colorado winters
curled up on the couch, watching videos, maniacally applying rhinestones
to anything and everything.
lounge . nourish
. host .
. home .