a film by Tommy O'Haver
1998 | 92 mins | US
›› Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss
a gay photographer's quest to find Mr Right
Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss by Tommy O'Haver Ace photographer Billy has a problem. For in undertaking a series of photographs based on the legendary screen kisses from Hollywood's golden era, he has found himself falling in love with aspiring model Gabriel. And who can blame him, given this is one prime piece of eye-candy. Only therein lies Billy's problem; for he cannot tell if Gabriel is gay, bi or straight?

No wonder that his gay best friend Perry and straight best friend Georgiana / George to her friends, are worried, given Billy has a history of going the straight way and projecting his affection onto hetero men who delight in the adoration, but fail to give anything back in return. Only is Gabriel enjoying the homo limelight just a little too much? For could Billy's gaydar be right and love lie just around the corner?

Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss by Tommy O'Haver Written and directed by Tommy O'Haver as based on his 16mm short Catalina, this ode to love has a lot going for it. Notably the screen presence of a pre Will & Grace Sean Hayes, who excels are the central gay boy of the piece, along the way getting down to some manly hanky panky. Yet such scenes are far from sexually explicit, given everything here is done in the best possible taste, so as to bring us "a little closer to understanding the words Straight and Gay."

Whether such a directorial objective is achieved is another issue. But here you cannot help but admire O'Haver for trying, courtesy of a good old-fashioned love story, as played to the full by a spirited cast. To that end, Brad Rowe as Billy's divine messenger of love and Meredith Scott Lynn as George shine in their roles, with Richard Ganoung as Perry offering fine support throughout, even if their work is somewhat limited by the restraints of the material.

Complete with the joyous use of two classic Petula Clark songs and if anything, the overuse of a trio of lip-syncing drag queens, this fun filled feature was shot in glorious CinemaScope, being as big on charm, as it is on-screen. For inspite of certain flaws, this is still an enjoyable ride, with Hayes in particular delivering a spot-on performance. Touching, comical and worth seeing for Hayes alone.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Tartan Films catalogue: 16.July.2007 / UK.
starring: Sean Hayes, Brad Rowe, Richard Ganoung, Meredith Scott Lynn, Paul Bartel, Matthew Ashford,
Christopher Bradley, Armando Valdes-Kennedy, Carmine Giovinazzo, Kimiko Gelman, Niles Jenson,
Les Borsay, Annabelle Gurwitch, Holly Woodlawn, Mr Dan with Chad Boardman,
Rodney Chester and Eric Davenport as The Drag Chorus
Copyright 2004 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #109
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