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Now Playing: Reviewed: Gray Matters

By |2018-01-15T20:03:02-05:00March 1st, 2007|Entertainment|


Gray Matters

Gray (Heather Graham) and Sam (Tom Cavanagh) are a brother and sister duo so tight that other people think they’re dating. So in the interest of broadening their horizons, they each search for a partner for the other. But when they both meet Charlie (Briget Moynahan), the rules get thrown out the window, with both siblings falling for the beautiful newcomer. Will Gray be able to commit to being a lesbian? Will Charlie? Who will choose whom? And more importantly, will indie filmmakers ever get tired of the slick, urban coming-out story? It seems the answer is “no,” even as that tired concept gets a fresh coat of paint and a cutesy injection of 1940s screwball-comedy cliches. It’s all amiable enough, but the film’s sitcom stylings are tiring and unimaginative. Basically, while it’s sweet and nice, it all hardly matters.

{ITAL Grade: C
Kinsey Scale: 6 (Graham has appeared in “Drugstore Cowboy,” “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” and “Committed.” Moynahan had a recurring role on “Sex and the City.” Bisexual co-star Alan Cumming has played queer numerous times. Co-star Molly Shannon made multiple appearances on “Will & Grace” and “Sex and the City.” Co-star Sissy Spacek appeared in “A Home at the End of the World.”)}

The Astronaut Farmer

One-time astronaut Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) never flew a mission. Unwilling to surrender his dream of orbiting the earth, he constructs a rocket in his barn, which marks him as a national security threat to the FBI and an object of derision to the media. This feel-good comedy-drama works on multiple levels – as a family film that emphasizes unconditional love between parent and child; as a comic critique of the government’s quest for security and control; as a satire of the media; and as an homage to the importance of dreaming. Images are beautiful and startling, particularly those of Charles on horseback in his spacesuit. The idea that one man could build a space-worthy rocket is a lovely, wonderfully realized conceit, made moving by Thornton’s sensitive performance.

{ITAL Grade: A
Kinsey Scale: 1 (Thornton guest-starred on “Ellen” and was part of an apparently queer family in Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man.” Co-star J.K. Simmons was a regular on “Oz.”)}

The Number 23

Dogcatcher Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) begins reading a mystery novel about a character obsessed with the number 23. When Walter notices that incidents in the plot reflect his own past, not only does he take up a fixation with the number, but he also begins to fear that the book’s violence will carry over into his family’s real life. Carrey is excellent, and so are Virginia Madsen as his wife, Agatha, and Danny Huston as the Sparrows’ friend Isaac. The acting is the sole high point in this otherwise flat, silly, ham-fisted thriller that offers little in the way of suspense. The emphasis on numerology quickly grows laughable; and thanks to a blizzard of coincidences, the eventual denouement becomes obvious long before the movie ends.

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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