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IN AND OUT

SYNOPSIS:
Howard Brackett’s (Kevin Kline) high school English students are astonished. Is it really true that their favourite teacher might be gay. But hey, he can’t be gay; he’s about to get married. Then again, he also teaches the drama class, and boy, does he love those Barbra Streisand records… One of his former students (Matt Dillon) becomes a Hollywood superstar and clumsily calls Howard’s sexuality into question on the Academy Awards telecast. Instantly, Howard’s tranquil life in Greenleaf, Indiana, is turned upside down. Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck), a pushy entertainment TV reporter, is determined to pursue the Howard story. Meanwhile, Howard is only days away from his wedding to Emily (Joan Cusack), the fiancee he’s managed to hold at bay for three years. It’s all sealed with a kiss – but which one.

"In & Out has that rare quality lacking in many American screen comedies: intelligence. Yes, folks, Hollywood has produced a comedy with genuine wit, intelligence and depth, a film of many beautifully enveloped styles. From farce to drollery, from sentiment to humanity, In and Out is a perfect screen gem, a deliciously funny yet provocative entertainment that dares to explore the notion of our sexuality as well as who we are all round. Yet it also manages to sneak in some deft jokes on topics ranging from the superficiality of Hollywood to Catholicism, bulimic supermodels and small town prejudices. Director Frank Oz has had a spotted career, but with this film he has proven himself as an adept master of screen comedy, timing his material to perfection, yet presenting us with richly detailed characters, matched by the perfect casting. Kline excels in this kind of dry, witty comedy, and is a master craftsman, all of which is in evidence as he creates an unwittingly repressed character, turning him into a well rounded and sympathetic figure. Joan Cusack gives her best performance to date, stealing the film at every turn, while Matt Dillon and Tom Selleck are revelations. As the parents, befuddled, bemused and confused, Debbie Reynolds and Wilford Brimley are in excellent form as well, but then every piece of casting is perfection. With a wise and perceptive script to match, In & Out is the kind of comedy you rarely see, but with this talent involved, can you really expect less?"
Paul Fischer

"In & Out is a real charmer, a feel-good light-hearted pavlova - full of lightness and fluff, but with a crust that has some crunch. The script is punctuated by wit and surprises - the laughs come from sharp one-liners, farce, slapstick and even satire. The cast is hand picked and fabulous. Kevin Kline, in top form - a treat to watch; Joan Cusack, a real scene-stealer with a slapstick performance that tickles the funny bone. Tom Selleck is the film’s biggest surprise, with a performance that gives much more than expected, combining substance, and expert comic timing. Debbie Reynolds plays the mother of the groom-to-be with great relish and bite. True the script goes through a muddy patch, but shines through as a delightful mouthful, guaranteed to generate smiles all round, while also managing to broach issues ranging from discrimination, anorexia and being happy with who you are. "
Louise
Keller

"Although totally unbelievable, In & Out is terrific entertainment. It’s a bit of an allegory dressed as low level farce, in which we know more than the characters about what is happening. Matt Dillon’s light touch and Harko’s self parody are some of the sidelights that make the whole film so enjoyable, not to mention the central performances of Kline, Selleck and Cusack. American society’s obsession with sexuality – or rather its horrified reluctance to accept diversity and open displays of it – is the central motor of the narrative, given a flippant reading through the lighthearted nature of the work. The worst that happens is that Cusack’s Emily a) has to diet to get engaged, and b) has to endure three years of celibacy during the couple’s sexless courting. The strident ‘homosexuality is OK’ message is mainstream Hollywood’s gradual acceptance that American society is almost as diverse as Los Angeles’. Almost, I said."
Andrew L. Urban

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See Paul Fischer's exclusive interviews with
KEVIN KLINE
and
TOM SELLECK

IN & OUT (PG)
(US)

 

CAST: Kevin Kline, Matt Dillon, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Debbie Reynolds, Wilford Brimley, Bob Newhart, Aaron Eckhart

DIRECTOR: Frank Oz

PRODUCER: Scott Rudin

SCRIPT: Paul Rudnick

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Rob Hahn

EDITOR: John Jympson, Dan Hanley

MUSIC: Marc Shaiman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ken Adam

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 1997








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