[Last Film I Saw] In and Out (1997)

In and Out poster

Title: In & Out
Year: 1997
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Director: Frank Oz
Writer: Paul Rudnick
Cinematography: Rob Hahn
Music: Marc Shaiman
Cast:
Kevin Kline
Joan Cusack
Tom Selleck
Matt Dillon
Debbie Reynolds
Wilford Brimley
Bob Newhart
Gregory Jbara
Shawn Hatosy
Shalom Harlow
Zak Orth
Lauren Ambrose
J. Smith-Cameron
Alexandra Holden
June Squibb
Lewis J. Stadlen
Deborah Rush
Selma Blair
Glenn Close
Whoopi Goldberg
Jay Leno
Rating: 6.1/10

In and Out 1

Fake 68th Oscar ceremony

Fake 68th Oscar ceremony

A commercially successful mainstream out-of-the-closet comedy in the 90s mocking the stereotypical homophobia in the provincial midwestern America, directed by the voice-of-Yoda, Frank Oz (THE STEPFORD WIVIES 2004), and stars a dapper Kevin Cline as Howard Brackett, a high school English teacher being outed on the 68th Oscar ceremony by his former student Cameron Drake (Dillon) in his BEST ACTOR acceptance speech, in addition to that, he is scheduled to marry his longtime fiancée Emily (Cusack) within three days.

beans are being spilled

beans are being spilled

So Howard instantly not only becomes the headline personality at Greenleaf, Indiana, but also attracts Hollywood media, especially from the outed-gay anchorman Peter Malloy (Selleck). In order to quench everyone’s worries and inquisitiveness, Howard’s denial is ostensibly plausible, he is at most metrosexual and painstakingly attempt to shatter the hackneyed idea of gay men to be masculine with the collateral damages including Barbra Streisand’s not-so-productive filmography and the heterosexual men’s privilege to dance.

Bob Newhart is hilarious as the principal

Bob Newhart is hilarious as the principal

Yet, the crunch arrives in the big wedding day where self-deception can not hold back the truth, Emily indignantly runs away from the alter in her wedding dress and apart from that, everyone else seems quite calm-cool-and-collected. The farce then takes a detour into a self-imposed queer-in-distress scenario for Howard in the third act after his spunky and honest coming-out, when he is fired for his sexuality and waiting hapless for the unanimous succour from his family, students and friends, which righteously secure a feel good ending to bolster the right opinion, one might appreciate the effort and motivation, but honestly speaking the entire grandstanding is very much contrived and cringe-inducing.

the belated first-kiss

the belated first-kiss

The biggest selling point is Joan Cusack’s second Oscar nomination for a genre rarely gets the attention of Academy members, and an outstanding feat for a comedienne to replicate her recognition again after WORKING GIRL (1988). Cusack never shies away from being an unassuming wallflower and her predicament in the film does lift the awareness of the unethical cost for a closeted gay man to marry an unwitting woman. Kline is quite competent as well, suave but internally is waiting to be swept off his feet by a kiss from a man, pitifully there aren’t ample room for the romance between him and Peter, but his dancing routine and spontaneous responsiveness showcase he is an ingrained comedian on precise tempo.

a bride inside the wedding dress, a one and only Joan Cusack

a bride inside the wedding dress, a one and only Joan Cusack

June Squibb in her youth with a 3-testicles husband

June Squibb in her youth with a 3-testicles husband

The story is elicited by the real event of Tom Hanks’ Oscar acceptance speech for PHILADELPHIA (1993) where he openly thanked his gay teacher, and the rest is the screenwriter Paul Rudnick’s wide fantasy, anyhow, it is pretty impressive to realise how our worldview has evolved towards homosexuality in a measly 17 years purely gauging by how dated this film looks, still, in the much conservative corners of the world, it will be a long expedition to indoctrinate the equality against wrongly-rooted prejudice, religious narrow-mindedness and man’s primal fear of wanting virility.

Family support Brimley, Reynolds and Jbara

Family support Brimley, Reynolds and Jbara

Oscar 1997 - In and Out

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