In & Out

Release Date: September 19th 1997

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: A man’s life is turned upside down when a rumor that he is gay goes around.

In & Out started out very…gee golly, picture perfect, and kind of corny. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it at first but I wanted to give it a fair shot. The town, small town folk, and overall mood of the film reminded me a lot of Pleasantville.
The main character, Howard (Kevin Kline) is a well respected, loved teacher and coach. He is engaged to a beautiful woman (Joan Cusack) and he is a part of a nice, wholesome family that love his Fiancé as their very own daughter. Everything in Howard’s life seems to be going perfectly…that is until a former student, Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon) now big time celebrity makes a special shout out to his former teacher at the Academy Awards, Howard for being brave enough to be out. This shout out causes a stir of rumors within the town that turn Howard’s once perfect life upside down.

This is categorized as a comedy and it is in fact very funny. I laughed a lot throughout the entire film but when taking a deeper look at In & Out there is a very strong underlying message, that being gay is something that is not always accepted. The comedy is that this mans life is now turned upside down by this rumor but with just a little tweak in mood, soundtrack, and/or character’s personalities if it wasn’t a comedy it would be quite tragic. A teacher nominated for the High School’s teacher of the year award is now facing termination because of a rumor about his sexual preferences. Howard, once a beloved and well-respected man is now being outcast by his students, neighbors, and some family members. And of course, the possibility of Howard being gay puts a bit of a damper on his wedding plans.

The plot was well developed; the acting was mediocre but not enough to ruin the film. I laughed throughout the movie and even cried a few times because of truly heart warming and touching moments in the film.

I liked In & Out because it shared an important message and intelligently showed the possible struggles of coming out through comedy.

Overall it was a great movie that I think people can really enjoy and even learn something from.


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