In & Out

Bomb Rating: 

While most films are insulting to those of reasonable intelligence,it's a rare bird that actually goes so far as to compel the entire lowest common denominator to stare at each other and wonder simultaneously whether the screenwriter might have been mildly retarded.

While most films are insulting to those of reasonable intelligence, it's a rare bird that actually goes so far as to compel the entire lowest common denominator to stare at each other and wonder simultaneously whether the screenwriter might have been mildly retarded. "In & Out" at least deserves credit for bringing people together.

Let's start with the title: It's literal. During the beginning of the film, Greenleaf, Indiana, literary professor Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline) denies that he's gay. No sooner are we at the film's halfway point than he admits that he's gay. So much for suspense. You might as well open the film with Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck playing hide the salami (or hide the Li'l Smokey as the case may be.)

It would be an improvement. This film is little more than a barely cohesive series of bad jokes. Want to make people laugh? Have models tell vomiting jokes; have grown men kiss; have people accused of being gay because they listen to Barbara Streisand and cry during "Beaches"; have old women say the word "testicle." This film amounts to little more than a dozen actors standing on a stage reciting lines they read off the bathroom wall.

What's even more insidious is that Greenleaf, Indiana, is supposed to be representative of small-town America. All the people are kind of dopey and don't really understand homosexuality but will accept it if the fags are nice people. I dare anyone to go to a small town and come out of the closet. If you make it to the county line with fewer than five bullet holes in you, congratulations: You've achieved a moral victory.

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