Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Gray Matters

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Gray Matters

Article excerpt

In lieu of personalities, the characters in the new film Gray Matters have lists. Lists of their likes and dislikes, their favorite films and foods, list upon list proffered so often that they seem to be filling out a questionnaire instead of making actual conversation. In particular, Heather Graham's character, Gray, is looking for "someone who doesn't think Ginger Rogers is one of the Spice Girls, someone who wouldn't consider going to Florida 'traveling,' someone who's not afraid to try Ethiopian food." What Gray fails to mention, perhaps because she doesn't yet realize it, is that this someone ought to be a woman--preferably her brother's new wife (Bridget Moynahan), whose comely looks and tendency to watch TV while wearing an evening gown make her just the thing to uncork Gray's repressed sexuality. Throw in some TV actors (Molly Shannon and Ed star Tom Cavanagh) as well as some gay faves (Alan Cumming and The L Word's Rachel Shelley) and you've got a new breed of gay romantic comedy: one where every lesbian is lipstick and sexuality is as inoffensive as the wacky coworker struggling with Weight Watchers.

Despite the gay twist and the semistale cultural references (Spice Girls? Really?), writer-director Sue Kramer obviously hopes to pattern her film after the classic screwball comedies from the '40s: The banter is snappy and fast, the characters bond over Till the Clouds Roll By, and there are even two sustained ballroom dance sequences. Unfortunately, the classic movie fetish isn't exactly novel in this genre--who can forget Rosie O'Donnell admonishing the Cary Grant-obsessed Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle with "You want to be in love in a movie"? …

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