All Over the Guy

All Over the Guy ignores the typical urges of a movie with gay protagonists to somehow politicize the movie or shove homosexuality in the face of the viewer. This usually happens and makes the movie distasteful. Instead, it warmly welcomes a tiring convention of romantic comedies; the two people who hate each other so much that they just may be perfect for each other. In this case, they just happen to be gay. Not only is there a gay couple, but there is also a straight couple, not as annoying yet almost there. There is nothing inherently wrong with All About the Guy, it is just nothing new. Everything that goes on here is the fodder of sitcoms.

Jackie (Sasha Alexander, Lucky 13, Twin Falls Idaho) and Brett (Adam Goldberg, Sunset Strip, EdTV) set up their respective friends Tom (Richard Ruccolo, Luck of the Draw, Music From Another Room) and Eli (Dan Bucatinsky, The Sky is Falling, Bounce), in part so that they can date each other. Jackie and Brett get along great, but Tom and Eli's date fails horribly. Eli is uptight, sophisticated and cautious. Tom is crass and more down-to-earth. They are both afraid of relationships, and deal with it their own way, Eli by avoiding them altogether and Tom by sleeping around. They detest each other, but keep meeting, and for whatever reason, keep spending time together, giving each other second chances. No secret where this movie goes. Well, one could argue that almost all romantic comedies follow the same formula, and it is the dialogue and the interaction between the characters that set the bar. Bucatinsky, who also wrote the script, has nothing that differentiates is from any other movie in the genre.

It's the second-stringers that redeem All Over the Guy. Andrea Martin (Recess: School's Out, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) plays Eli's mom, a pop-psychologist who epitomizes a therapist-like approach to raising her children. She is on screen far too little to make any noticeable impact, but she is very enjoyable on screen. Christina Ricci (The Man Who Cried, Bless the Child) and Lisa Kudrow (Lucky Numbers, Dr. Dolittle 2) also briefly appear, but they only bring to mind a much better movie they starred in, the acerbic The Opposite of Sex, in which they had the main roles. What's the connection? Don Roos, the writer and director of that film (Bounce) produced All Over the Guy.

All of the principal actors do a fair job, although Ruccolo's lothario-like ways and 'dark secret' are tiresome and cliched. None of the humor is that funny. It all comes off as exasperating, especially how Eli and Richard keep going back to each other. Nobody has much depth to them, especially relationship-wise. Director Julie Davis (Amy's Orgasm, I Love You, Don't Touch Me!) keeps everything at an extremely superficial level. The good thing about recent movies like Big Eden and All Over the Guy is that they present homosexual people as regular people. In this case, they may be a little too regular.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 36 minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content and language.

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