In & Out (1997)

FRANK OZ

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1997.  Paramount Pictures, Spelling Films.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Academy Awards 1997.  Golden Globe Awards 1997.  New York Film Critics Awards 1997.  Toronto International Film Festival 1997.  

Pointedly funny comedy by Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey, Addams Family Values) about a shy, mild-mannered high school teacher (Kevin Kline) whose life is thrown into a frenzy when a former student (Matt Dillon) wins an Academy Award and tells everyone that his favourite teacher Kline is gay (the film’s plot is a hypothetical spinoff of what could have happened after Tom Hanks’ acceptance speech the night he won for Philadelphia). Now Kline’s parents (, Debbie Reynolds), students, colleagues and especially fiancee of fourteen years (Joan Cusack, who is, as Rudnick himself put it, God) are getting nervous, hoping to get to the bottom of this admission.  Enter tabloid reporter who helps put a few things, um, straight for our hero. Sharp-as-nails attacks on the ignorant assumptions and ideas that Middle Americans have about gays and lesbians are more than welcome, as is the exceptionally funny screenplay, but if nothing else attracts you to see the film, watch it for Cusack’s knockout performance.

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