Gray Matters
PG-13
Entertainment: -1/2
Acceptability: -4

Heather Graham, Tom Cavanaugh, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Cumming, Sissy Spacek. Comedy. Written & directed by Sue Kramer.

FILM SYNOPSIS: An inseparable brother and sister meet a lovely woman in the park. Bro immediately falls for her and that weekend they are off to Las Vegas to get married. Small problem: Sis is also in love with said lovely woman and tags along in hopes of wooing the woman for herself. Her camouflaged attempts are unsuccessful and the brother gets a wife. As the sister comes out of the closet with her gayness awareness and her declaration of love for her new sister-in-law, it causes great turmoil between the siblings.

PREVIEW REVIEW: As the subject of homosexuality and its national acceptance has been addressed often by this writer, I would prefer to focus on the films artistic shortcomings rather than the lesbianism. Here we go.

I still maintain that Because I Said So is the worst film so far this year. But Gray Matters is a close contender. (By the way, Gray is the name of Heather Grahams character. Its the second film this year wherein the female lead was saddled with that cheerless color as a name. Is Gray the new Brittany or Heather?)

Along with relaying a pro-same-sex message, Gray Matters is hampered by klutzy comedy, ditzy dialogue and a pea-brained plot. It tries to be both titillating and insightful, but I think even gay activists will be insulted. Its Hollywood-ized picture of the glamorous world of lesbianism is cartoonish and plastic.

Heres an example of the hilarious humor. Gray and a male friend go to a lesbian bar, but they wont let him in. You know, because hes a M-A-N. Guess, what he does so Gray wont have to go in by herself? Go on, guess. You got it. He dons a dress and makeup. With his unhidden hairy chest and a falsetto octave that wouldnt mislead Helen Keller, he plays the fool. And of course, theres a big, brutish lesbian who thinks hes just the cats meow.

I found the lead to be a selfish and amoral character. Gray is so close to her brother that new acquaintances assume they are a couple, not brother and sister. Yet she is rather callous when it comes to his marital happiness. Imagine: you have a sibling who finally finds a meaningful relationship, but you are also attracted to that person. Would you back off or put yourself deliberately between them in hopes of winning the heart of your siblings new love? I realize that affairs of the heart tend to trump good sense or even love for others, but the depiction here seemed careless and self-centered.

The filmmakers dont muster enough effort to make it good satire, screwball or bawdy drawing room comedy, or even plain old burlesque. It seems to serve no further objective than to place one more building block in the subconscious of this generation concerning the merits of same sex couplings.

The ladies are beautiful and the entire cast sparkles enough to momentarily blind audiences to the shallowness of the script. I expect, upon reflection, most will find this nonsense about as effective as amateurish filmmaker Ed Woods campy 50s Glen or Glenda.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Yari Film Group

Summary
Crude Language: Crass sexual comments and situations.
Obscene Language: Four obscenities and a few minor expletives.
Profanity: The expression oh my god is uttered several times, including six or seven times during a rant.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: No graphic situations other than the one passionate kiss between the two women. In a bar, several couples are seen doing a sensuous dance, including the two female leads.
Nudity: None, though we see the object of the leads affection in very brief lingerie.
Homosexual Conduct: The story sends the message that the gay lifestyle is acceptable and if you dont accept it, youre not acceptable.
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Throughout.
Drug Abuse: The night before the wedding, the women get drunk, which leads to the graphic kiss.
Other: None
Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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