.

In & Out

Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck

Directed by Frank Oz
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 19, 1997

Two men who had announced that they were gay activists sat stone-faced near me while a preview audience hooted at this comedy knockout starring an inspired Kevin Kline as an Indiana high school English teacher who gets outed at the Oscars by a Best Actor winner and former student (Matt Dillon). The men objected to what they saw as the gay stereotyping of Kline's Howard Brackett, who wears prissy bow ties, notices window treatments and worships Barbra Streisand. They missed the point. The butt of the hilarious and heartfelt screenplay by Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey) is homophobia, and his sting is wickedly on target.

Howard has been lying to his parents (Debbie Reynolds and Wilford Brimley), his principal (Bob Newhart), his fiancee (the incomparable Joan Cusack in peak form, which is saying something) and himself. At his bachelor party, the flustered Howard nearly denies his love for Streisand, until one lout yells the words that stiffen his back: "She was too old for Yentl." Howard's meeting with a gay TV journalist, Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck stops the show in a hilarious, career-reviving role), also strikes sparks when their initial sparring ends in a ... well, we'll save the erotic surprises.

Rudnick's outrageous wit blends nicely with the easy-does-it direction of Frank Oz. Kline and Cusack have never been funnier, and Dillon's film-within-a-film take on an actor portraying a gay soldier uproariously skewers the pious Hollywood platitudes that pass as searing drama. Everything from the Oscars to sexual hypocrisy takes its lumps in In and Out. Against Rudnick's heroic brand of liberating fun, even political correctness cannot stand.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com