a film by Rose Troche
1998 | 91 mins | UK
›› Bedrooms & Hallways
a screwball romantic comedy of mixed sexuality
Bedrooms & Hallways by Rose Troche Complete with a cast of star players that many an indie feature can only but dream of, this highly spirited, in more ways than one, feature concerns itself with the relationship woes of seemingly born again virgin Leo; an openly gay man in dire need of some . . . spiritual enlightenment, as he fast approaches the big 3-0. So cue Leo joining an all-male and all-straight new-age men's group - well at least it was before he arrived, given he soon finds himself drawn to confess his attraction to another member of the group.

And who can blame him, as the Irish eyes of Brendan mark a pretty hot package all-round. Trouble is, is he straight, bi or gay? And what of Leo himself? For did I just see him sampling some male-to-female lip-service? No wonder that his gay best friend Darren is threatening to call in the sex police, given that he has no problem with his sexual preference, courtesy of his relationship with suave estate agent Jeremy; a man who happens to have a-liking for having sex in other peoples homes - talk about having the ideal job! Yet whilst he knows his role in life, the question beckons - do the rest of the group know theirs?

Bedrooms & Hallways by Rose Troche And that's just the point. For this screwball work charts the comical repercussions of a group of men who get more than they bargained for, when in seeking their inner self, they discover a desire for sexual experimentation. And here we're talking about straights going the gay way and gays, well doing it the straight way! True the theme of sexual role reversal is cinematically nothing new, but thankfully the cast give this tried and tested scenario their all, inparticular Tom 'playing gay again' Hollander as Darren and Hugo Weaving who here excels in the role of Jeremy; a salesman with a need for a quickie - before a quick sale!

And yet and in as much Jennifer Ehle of Wilde fame as Sally and television Rome stars Kevin McKidd as Leo and James Purefoy as resident hunk Brendan deliver compelling performances, it is Harriet Walter and Simon Callow as new-age gurus Sybil and Keith who steal the show, with Callow as in the work Surveillance clearly relishing every one of his lines.

Bright and breezy throughout, this well-executed romantic comedy of mixed sexuality above all else reminds you that sexual orientation has today been reduced to pigeonhole like categories. Yet sexual identity is far more complex an issue than being dealt the straight, bi or gay cards of life, given that and as the charming Canadian feature Whole New Thing so aptly said: "who says you have to choose?"
UK General Release: 09.Apr.1999
starring: Kevin McKidd, Jennifer Ehle, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Hugo Weaving, James Purefoy,
Tom Hollander, Christopher Fulford, Julie Graham, Con O'Neill, Paul Higgins
Copyright 2008 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #035
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