Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Bedrooms, hallways ...

1999's BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS is an amusing Indie rom-com about the diversity of human sexuality which particularly pokes fun at New Agers and estate agents and those love-lorn confused 30 year olds. The lead character Leo (Kevin McKidd) is just 30, and rather colourless, but sees himself as gay but has no-one special in his life, as he shares house with flamboyant Darren (Tom Hollander) and air stewardess Julie Graham, who both get plenty. But at Simon Callow's New Age New Man group, while handling "the stone of truth" he decides to declare that he finds fellow man Brendan attractive. Irish cafe owner Brendan (James Purefoy) would seem to be straight and is just out of a long relationship with Jennifer Ehle - who turns out to be an old friend of Leo's. Hugo Weaving (the one with the kid in PRISCILLA) plays a sex-obsessed real estate agent who uses his clients' houses for his trysts with the flaming Darren. Simon Callow (playing straight for once) and wife Harriet Walter both run their own groups (she is the author of a book called "The Obsolete Penis") and observe the foibles of the others .... The film does not attempt to mirror the predominant attitudes toward homosexuality and bisexuality, as most of the characters are quite accepting of each other's sexual diversity.

Leo soon finds Brendan is quite receptive to his attentions, to the jealously of the other guys, but does not yet realise old pal Jennifer is Brendan's ex... Are you getting all this? Do try to keep up .... There is also Leo's amusing dream, a send-up of a sexed up Jane Austen type tale where Purefoy in tight britches strides around whipping stable boys ....(several of the cast - Ehle, Purefoy, Walter - had of course appeared in Austen adaptations...).

Much hilarity ensues at the Men's away-weekend out in the woods, as Simon does not bring any food and they have to forage for berries and end up ordering a Chinese take-away... Meanwhile the estate agent handcuffs the up-for-it Darren to the bed at one of the houses he has the keys for, but the owner returns as Hugo flees and Darren has to pretend to be a S&M strippogram! Tom Hollander is deliciously funny here... surprisingly though the owner who returns turns out to be Jennifer.  Things get a bit more complicated but are nicely worked out as Leo discovers his hetero side with Jennifer, while Brendan makes a new conquest at the group ... Its one of those amusing gay-ish comedies rather like LAWLESS HEART (Hollander label), nicely directed by Rose Troche, of GO FISH.
You may not want to leave your house keys with an estate agent in future though ...

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