Reviewed By: Scott Hurr
Review Date: September 19, 2011
Category: Comedy, Queer
Back Cover Summary:
Welcome to Greenleaf. A picture-postcard Indiana town where the high school is the proud focus of attention and "alternative-lifestyle" means you bowl on alternate Tuesdays. But on the night of the Oscar's telecast, the town's – and the world's – center of attention is Greenleaf highschool teacher Howard Brackett. A former student who's now a superstar actor tells an audience of millions that Howard is gay. Poor Howard, he's outted when he didn't know he was in.
Reviewer Comments on Rating:
Alas, this movie has to be taken with a grain of salt. It was made in the 90's so some of the jokes are somewhat dated, and a certain “cheesy-pie” nearly perfect happy ending was over the top. That being said it seemed the story was both trying to portray an idealized world where everyone Actually says what their thinking and feeling. It was using that world to show how much we hide from ourselves what we really want and who we really are. In many ways it questioned (subtly) what we think gay people are and poked merciless fun at what we think masculinity is. There's also a lot about body acceptance and self love. It can seem kind of preachy if taken at all seriously but that would be hard to do because the actors are so immersed in their characters it's impossible not to love them even as you laugh at their antics. The film touches upon many serious and ongoing issues in the queer communities but doesn't get serious about them. While I've heard a few disparage this, I felt that if the had it would've become a moral tale that would be heard to bear. Joan Cusack, Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck play off of each other so well it's easy to forget that this isn't a real conversation you're hearing. The communication of all the actors seems natural and unaffected. I'd heartily recommend this movie if for no other reason than for watching Kevin Kline mock masculinity while portraying it at the the same time; all while dancing to "I Will Survive."
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