I first saw the film, In and Out, a few years ago, on mainstream television. Having really enjoyed this film I watched it again, on TV, a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten just how seriously funny it is.
Well it is to me.
Brief plot outline.
Howard Brackett, played by Kevin Kline is a rather reserved and staid teacher. He teaches in a quiet neighbourhood in mid west America, still living close to his parents home. He is about to be married to Emily Montgomery, played by Joan Cusack. Emily has lost a great deal of weight, as she has been planning her big day. She has also saved herself for their marriage and neither have been intimate yet.
As they sit on the sofa one evening, with the TV tuned into an award ceremony, their lives are about to be turned upside down.
Former pupil Cameron Drake, played by Matt Dillon, accepts his award and begins to make his acceptance speech. Howard is so proud of his ex pupil. Cameron mentions his old teacher, Howard, and how inspirational that teacher was, especially as he was gay. Howard, Joan and the whole town's mouths gape open in disbelief. Howard has been outed on TV, in front of the whole world, and his life will never be the same again.
Is Howard really gay? Does he know, deep down, that he is? Will he marry Joan? Will the town accept him?
We join Howard on a journey of discovery.
This film is so very funny. It has some smile moments but others that made me howl with laughter. At one point Howard is listening to a tape ,aimed at making you straight. As the recording tells Howard that straight men cannot dance he tries to brainwash himself. Straight men do not like to dance. Dance music starts to play, as the voice on the tape tells Howard to keep strong and refuse to dance. As the rhythm finally gets hold of Howard he dances as if his life depends on it. The result makes for very funny viewing.
There is nothing offensive in this film though. I would not think that the gay community would find offence either. In some ways In and Out ridicules people's attitude to gay people. Howard goes from a much respected individual to someone to avoid, without doing anything to cause such treatment.
- The cast includes:- Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds and Matt Dillon.
- In and Out was written by Paul Rudnick and directed by Frank Oz.
- It was released 1997/1998 and has been available on DVD since 2001.
Of course humour is a very personal thing. However, in its favour this film has a great cast and some funny performances. It explores people's attitudes, prejudices and the way we like to pigeon hole people.
Recommended as an easy to watch, funny film that will make you smile and may make you laugh out loud.