Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1998. Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by Wendy Wasserstein, based on the novel by Stephen McCauley. Cinematography by Oliver Stapleton. Produced by Laurence Mark. Music by George Fenton. Production Design by Jane Musky. Costume Design by John Dunn. Film Editing by Tariq Anwar. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
There’s a feeling of hanging around on a warm, summery day in Manhattan that slightly improves this rather weak adaptation of Stephen McCauley’s novel. Jennifer Aniston finds the perfect roommate in Paul Rudd and they end up becoming the best of friends. When she gets pregnant with her insensitive boyfriend’s baby, she decides she’d rather have Rudd be the baby’s father; the fact that he’s gay doesn’t create a problem, it only makes their situation a bit more unusually fun and classy. Rudd’s all up for it, but neither of them realize that the various relationships they are going to encounter during her pregnancy will pull them apart both as friends and as parents. By the time you get to the middle the whole story falls apart and feels like it can’t figure out where it wants to go. By the time you get to the end you will probably get a little nauseated with how PC the film is (screenwriter Wendy Wasserstein manages to throw in every possible race, orientation and religion into the grab bag of characters seen here, plus Rudd is so much the white, cute and disgustingly normal gay man you just want to throw him in an S&M club and drench him in hot candle wax to get a little grit out of him). Wasserstein at least does the smart thing to open up what was basically a two-character monologue novel and create new characters for them to bounce their emotions off of, the best of them Allison Janney‘s brilliant supporting role as Aniston’s helpful stepsister. All in all, this one will seem so much more brilliant if you watch Madonna’s turkey The Next Best Thing right before it.