"A standard fare romantic comedy with *surprise* two male leads"
All Over the Guy is a sweet romantic comedy that defies the "Gay" convention. Its a film about love, above all, and the rocky roads that lead to it. I found it refreshingly honest in its wide portrayal of the larger picture of gay life ... that is, life lived ... and then being gay. Dan Bucatinsky and Richard Ruccolo star as two star-crossed lovers who are so caught up in their apparent differences that they can't believe that they have a relationship that works.Eli (Bucatinsky) and Tom (Ruccolo) are set up on a blind date by their well-meaning friends, Brett and Jackie who figure that since they are both gay, they are sure to hit it off. They couldn't be more different in their interests and backgrounds. Eli's parents are touchy feely psychotherapists and Tom's parents (and Tom) are dysfunctional alcoholics. Eli is a freak about propriety while Tom is more casual and prefers to go with the flow rather than have everything be done by the book. Eli likes to collect action figures and Tom likes sports.
Most of the film takes place in the retelling of events. Tom goes to an HIV clinic and ends up spilling his guts to the secretary, Ellen played by Doris Roberts (who also has a role in John Cameron Mitchell's screen adaptation of Hedwig and The Angry Inch - a must see). Martin is hilarious as the deadpan secretary who must interrupt Tom to answer the phone and address concerns such as "did you suck his dick"?
The second plot is the drive to mate Jackie (Sasha Alexander) and Brett (Adam Goldberg). I asked Dan (<a href="http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/hbs.cgi?feature=408">see my interview</a>) why he didn't just make a romantic comedy about Jackie and Brett and he said that it wouldn't have been as funny. And I don't think it would have been as interesting. What makes All Over the Guy different is the matter of fact way it treats all the characters, gay and straight. Tom and Eli are complex, well-rounded people with a variety of interests. That they both want to fuck men is besides the point.
It's not all roses and cake. Tom and Eli, while trying to find their way to love, encounter a few snafus along the way while Brett and Jackie go from first date to marriage proposal in a matter of scenes. Eli must deal with the requisite wandering penis of any gay man while Tom tries to deal with his sense that he's not good enough for Eli. They finally, tearfully reunite at Brett and Jackie's wedding.
Christina Ricci makes an appearance as Eli's sister and Lisa Kudrow has a cameo as a voice actor who can't seem to get her tone just right. Both Ricci and Kudrow worked with Bucatinsky on The Opposite of Sex. Joanna Kerns, who I didn't even recognize, of Growing Pains plays Tom's unbelievably screwed up mother.This is definitely a Friday night film. Set in LA in a world of producers, artists and designers, its easy on the eye and heavy handed with the heart. There is enough humor to nurture you in between the sad scenes. I rooted for Tom and Eli and shared the joy of their reunion.