This has gotta be one of the most under-rated and "under-known" US-made gay movies out there (well, maybe not under-rated since nearly 80% of the reviews here are 4- and 5-Star). But how could it have gotten by without having kicked up more dust?
Each time I watch it I enjoy it more, each time I watch it I appreciate it more. It becomes like picking up and studying a finely crafted object; it suddenly hits you: hey, there're no seams here, no rough joints; its finish is wonderfully even. How'd they do this? And then you think: Well, Goldberg and Alexander......sure, they've been around for awhile and are truly spot-on here, but.....Bucatinsky...who is this guy??!!?? (only the one who crafted/wrote this play-to-movie, of course).....and Ruccolo...wow...where'd all this acting depth come from of a sudden? And however in the world did one apparently straight guy actor playing against one apparently gay guy actor get this so right? Well, the answer has to be, of course, that they understood if it's about love, it just doesn't matter whether 2 guys, or guy and gal, or 2 gals are the focus. These actors obviously came to realize that, and so it became easy for them to act that. (Not something that two other guys, named Ennis & Jack, were ever fortunate enough to learn in time, eh?).
Well, on to a bit of what this movie's all about. A pure romantic comedy this is NOT.........perhaps, more correctly, it's a "dramedy." After all, how many mainstream gay movies have you seen in which a character utters such descriptively jarring words (see title of this review) after a sexual act that's earlier taken place? Yes, this movie's for real and is very much a real life movie. Just stop to think about it---that when you've had Eli's and, particularly, Tom's kinds of childhood---well, you'll then have a great deal to overcome in adult life, whether it be a heterosexual or homosexual one. And if you, dear reader, haven't grown up in a household where alcohol has been a parental "drug of choice," then don't presume to judge Tom's behavior in this movie. Most realistically, Ruccolo has made Tom a direct product of his parent's relationship.
In this dramedy Ruccolo gives us an especially intense performance which is actually easy to see, if you will only carefully watch his scenes: the telling facial expressions and eye movement; his body-set when he, for example, moves to stand against Eli in one scene, or to unobtrusively cup Eli's hands in another; even his movement of jaw muscles (did someone think his role through, or not!) His end-of-film, wedding kitchen tirade ("Hey!!!!!........") is more than enough to almost scare and stop any viewer short, as it certainly does Eli in that scene. This guy is one hell of an actor......why haven't we since seen a lot more of him? (The "curse" of playing a gay role, the hex of giving us such an intense guy-on-guy bedroom scene; is there such a jinx as this?)
Yet it is in Eli's control freak behavior that lies Tom's salvation. For, of all the inappropriate things Eli's shrink parents (and they're marvelously performed) have given him that they shouldn't have, it's his capacity for understanding (which they also bequeathed) that will in the end save Tom......and Eli, himself, for that matter. And Bucatinsky is just great at showing us a little bit of ourselves (or, perhaps, a lot) in his skillful portrayal.
If you're reading reviews for a movie such as this, then please accept my recommendation to make it a part of any DVD collection you may have.....it's more than worthy of repeated viewings.......you'll catch so much more each time that you do.
PS--Can't help but conclude these comments by saying that, IF "I" had been the scriptwriter for this marvelous little film, the following is the way "I" would have wrapped things up. At movie's end we'd find our struggling duo sitting and conversing in a garden, when all of a sudden you'd see in their eyes and faces---as if the proverbial light bulb's been turned on---each one realizing that they have in the other what they've been needing and wanting all along. What a great heart-swelling moment it'd be for us, eh? (Oh.......what's that, you mean somebody else already's done that?)