1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Should gays be allowed to handle fresh produce?"
The question is put to Howard Brackett (played brilliantly by Kevin Kline), high-school teacher and all-round good guy in Greenleaf, Indiana, by a journalist who, along with the rest of the media, is besieging the school at which Howard works the day after Howard has been outed by an actor in his Oscar acceptance speech. Howard was the teacher who taught the actor all he...
Published on 15 April 2009 by Nicholas Casley
3.0 out of 5 stars Amiable, predictable, but just about enjoyable.
English teacher Howard Brackett is as surprised as anyone when during an Oscar acceptance speech by former pupil, Cameron Drake, he's outed as being gay.
Alledgedly inspired by Tom Hank's acceptance speech at the 1994 Academy Awards, Frank Oz's amiable enough comedy just about holds its head above water without really achieving anything. Frank Oz and his writer...
Published 19 months ago by Spike Owen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Should gays be allowed to handle fresh produce?",
Anyone watching the first half hour of this Scott Rudin-produced and Frank Oz-directed movie might think it was just another twee American movie of family life in small-town USA, especially when it features such Hollywood names as Tom Selleck, Matt Dillon and Debbie Reynolds, as well as cameos by Whoopi Goldberg and Glenn Close. How wrong they would be! This is actually quite a subversive film. But it starts by cleverly making it appear that the prejudices held by small-town America are the right ones. Everyone is relieved when the beloved Howard, denies being gay. His mother tells him she loves him whether he is gay or straight, so long as he gets married to Emily, his long-time suffering sweetheart. Howard's mother tells him, "I need that wedding. I need some beauty, and some music, and some place-cards before I die. It's like heroine."
Twenty-three minutes into the movie, and we have the first indication of the unexpected and a sure sign that this is not the wholesome fare that some viewers might be seeking. In the teachers' staff room, one not-so-bright teacher asks why the others are talking about Howard, and receives the answer that it's "because he likes dick!" The subversive nature of the film is confirmed when the Catholic priest in the confessional advises Howard to have pre-marital sex. The priest amusingly insists on Howard being gay if he never had physical relations with his fiancée in a three-year engagement.
For me, the pivot of the film is when the TV news reporter character played by Tom Selleck comes out to the audience and to Howard. Prior to this moment, he is seen as Joe Normal, someone everyone can like and root for, but after revealing his homosexuality, straight viewers seeking solace in assured stereotypes will start to feel uncomfortable. And after Howard kisses him, we know that Howard IS actually gay. And we are all flattered by being in on the secret. The secret? Yes, because Howard continues to deny his own sexuality.
The wedding of Howard to his fiancée appears not at the end, but halfway through the film. I won't spoil the film for those readers of this review who have yet to see it by revealing how the triangle of Howard, Tom Sellick and Emily is squared, save to say that everyone is happy come the end.
There are some brilliant gags in the film. At the Oscars, Paul Newman is nominated for "Coot", Clint Eastwood for "Codger", and Michael Douglas for "Primary Urges". And the Streisand jokes get better and better as the film progresses (And she WAS too old for `Yentl' - see my forthcoming Amazon review!) I won't even mention the masculinity tapes, which had us all in stitches.
And there are some equally good gags hidden in the film. For example, pause on the shot of Cameron Drake's photo in his old high-school yearbook. The photo next to him is that of David Drain, and the printed quote is "Life's a game, and it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's how good you look."
Unfortunately, there are no extras, no commentary which, I am sure, would have been very interesting. And where are the outtakes?
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ....are we a teapot?,
This is a film based on the premise; What if you were outed on national television? A thin conceit and yet one that provides for a great film. Done with skill and care, this film has a sparkling cast (Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack) supported by an admirable list of old hands (Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds), and a great script (Rudnick). The action centres on a small town high school teacher, Howard, who has just been outed by a former star pupil (a wonderful turn from Matt Dillon) in his Oscar acceptance speech, just days away from his marriage. What follows is a man trying hopelessly to prove to the entire town that he is not, although with every breath he only manages to convince otherwise (his encyclopaedic knowledge of Barbra Steisand films does not help this – his girlfriend crying at one stage “Do you know how many times I had to watch ‘Funny Lady’?”).
The highlights are the superbly played scenes with his now hysterical girlfriend (Oscar nominated Cusack), and a scene played with a tape recording about how to be a man in which he is berated by the narrator for dancing “…think of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold doesn’t dance – he barley even walks!”. The end is rousing with a nod to ‘Spartacus’, and yes it is perhaps a little saccharine for the hardbitten viewer, but for me it is exactly as it should be. What could have been heavy handed or incredibly mawkish manages to be neither for which we should thank all involved.
As always with DVD’s of some age all you are really getting is the film – but who cares when it is this good?
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlikely High Comedy!,
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.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great laugh,
This review is from: In and Out [VHS]  (VHS Tape)Kevin Kline plays Howard an English teacher in small town America who is about to get married when an old student of his wins an Oscar and during his speech tells the world the Howard is gay. Howard says he is not and is in total confusion as are his family and friends. Yes he is a little camp but certainly not gay. There are some great moments as Howard tries to prove that he is not gay and most definitely manly.
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD SERVICE,
This review is from: In & Out (1997) DVD (DVD)i know vhs is over and out, but this film costs the earth on DVD.
Very cheap and quick.
4.0 out of 5 stars "In & Out" Review,
3.0 out of 5 stars Amiable, predictable, but just about enjoyable.,
Alledgedly inspired by Tom Hank's acceptance speech at the 1994 Academy Awards, Frank Oz's amiable enough comedy just about holds its head above water without really achieving anything. Frank Oz and his writer Paul Rudnick, would appear on the surface to have wanted a picture oozing intelligence, a poser encompassing the outing of a successful and popular school teacher, right there in the heart of America. Sly digs at Hollywood and small town mentalities aside, In & Out is ultimately remembered for two things, its fine cast and the gay stereotypes that litter the piece. Well groomed men who like Barbara Streisand are clearly gay it seems, yes it's that sort of film, the kind that was out of touch back in the late 1990s, never mind when viewing it now!.
So it's with the cast that it mostly shines, Kevin Kline as Howard reminds everyone just what a fine comedic actor he is, and so too does Tom Selleck, who revels in poking fun at himself here, with the results from both men bringing the picture its comedy highlights. The always capable Joan Cussack was Oscar nominated as Howard's incredulous wife to be, Emily, and Wilford Brimley and Debbie Reynolds shine as Howard's much bemused parents. To leave us with a competently made film with a flimsy story, that isn't as clever as it so dearly thinks it is. 5/10
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Film,
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than your average comedy,
"In and Out" does mock the gay stereotype, but it does so in an affectionate way. More than that, it mocks the traditional man stereotype (cue an absolutely hilarious scene of Kevin Kline using a crash-course in manliness tape to reducate himself). In this manner it feels reminiscent of "The Birdcage" (or "Les cages aux folles" if you've seen the original French version) whereby potentially destructive ridicule yields to a constructive and sensitive humour.
One of the cleverest tactics of the film is to contrast the ridiculous over-acceptance of Hollywood, represented by a barmy Oscar ceremony, and the reluctant attitude of the small town community of Greanleaf, Indiana. The former shows a group dealing with issues in a shallow, popularist manner, the latter a people genuinely confused and upset, but willing to examine the issue in greater depth.
Ultimately, the film is just light entertainment and shouldn't be taken as more than that. The gifted cast and directorial talent (Frank Oz, providing another light comedy gem) work to make something you'll finish with a smile on your face and a warm feeling inside.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun entertainment,
The behaviour of the class after Cameron's decalration at the Oscars to ther teacher (Kevin Kline) is fairly good and Kline's attempt to deny what he is classic in the body language. Bob Newhart as the headteacher is perfect hesitant and clearly somewhat homophobic boss. The highs and lows of the emotional turmoil mixed with some great comic moments works well. Tom Selleck as the reporter is a gem, especially when he forces a kiss on Kline and tells him he is out. The ending is very sickly sweet and rose tinted but fun all the same.
If you want a light night in with some wine this is a good film to relax with. Enjoy it for what it is and not what many perceive it to be.
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In & Out [DVD]  [GERMAN IMPORT] by Frank Oz (DVD)
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