Less a gaysploitation dramedy than a guy-guy homage to Nora Ephron's dark side, All Over the Guy is a painfully earnest case of generic romance spiced with queerness. At the start of the movie, neat freak Eli (a well-gelled Dan Bucatinsky, who also scripted) and beefy souse Tom (Richard Ruccolo) are crawling out from their affair's wreckage. Treating their gayness as moot, All Overstereotypes not sexuality but psychology. Fish-eyed flashbacks show Eli's elders as obnoxious shrinks who coax penis-vagina talk at an early age and taunt their brood with a construction paper "feel wheel," while Tom's folks are revealed as elegant martini swillers who passed on the dipso gene.
Beyond their childhood traumas, the couple's larger disagreements seem only to be about moviesEli aghast that Tom hasn't seen Gone With the Wind, Tom miffed that Eli thought In & Out was fun. The doomed gridlock of the central gay bond is glibly contrasted with the rapture of the straight best friends who introduced them (Adam Goldberg and Sasha Alexander). Don Roos's The Opposite of Sexis an inevitable comparison given Roos's executive producer credit and negligible cameos by Lisa Kudrow and Christina Ricci. But unlike that film, which needled sexual IDs every which way, All Over the Guyis muted and drab. Director Julie Davis, who previously lensed the slight, Woody Allen-ish indie I Love You, Don't Touch Me!, is stuck in the same fear-of-intimacy groove. And that tune, as the nerdy Eli says, is "so 1991."
His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
Written and directed by L. Frank Baum
Opens August 10
Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy Digests Its Drama for You; NAATCO's Strindberg Diminishes a Dream
Made in 1914 and directed by L. Frank Baum himself, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz stars Pierre Couderc as the Tin Woodsman (he previously played the title role in The Patchwork Girl of Oz), looking very cool in mailed and beaded undies. He finds his first encounter with Wicked Witch Mombi so repellent that he decapitates her. Incensed, Mombi turns Pon (a gardener in love with King Krewl's niece, Princess Gloria) into a Kangaroo, a character who is yet another chance for the genius of Fred Woodward, "King of All Animal Personators," to shine. Suited up in hyperreal animal outfits with moving eyes and mouths, Woodward eerily incarnates the Cowardly Lion, the Cow, the Mule, and the Crow, who dances funky with his titular nemesis. Majesty's reissue is a delirious and loony surprise in this season of nattier ape-suits.
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