Movie Review

In and Out

Reviewed by: Gregory Simmons
CONTRIBUTOR
Edited by: Ken James

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
105 min.

Starring: Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Bob Newhart, Debbie Reynolds, Wilford Brimley / Director: Frank Oz / Released by: Paramount Pictures

“In and Out” promises to be the comic portrayal of a small-town male literature teacher (Kevin Kline) with a love for poetry and the classics. Teachers affect many students throughout the years, and one such former-student of teacher Howard Brackett leaves his rural hometown to become Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), a rising Hollywood star nominated for an Academy Award.

Naturally, the whole town is glued to their TV sets for the big event in celebration of their hometown celebrity. Brackett, after a three year wait, is about to be married to Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack), when in a matter of seconds his entire life takes a serious turn. During the acceptance speech for best actor, Drake thanks his former teacher and happens to mention to the entire world that Brackett is gay. Naturally, the town erupts into an uproar because of this schocking announcement. Now, Brackett is forced to show that he is not, indeed, homosexual.

The premise of “In and Out” began well for a comedy, but soon after the shocking revelation to Brackett’s town, “In and Out” begins to go “down and out.” The high school teacher eventually admits his same-sex preference and the fact that he had been living a lie his entire life. A Hollywood reporter (Tom Selleck) soon arrives in small town America in hopes of getting an exclusive interview with Brackett.

As Brackett tries to prove he is “manly”, some scenes are humorous. But the overall appeal of the film is that you cannot fight what you are. From a Biblical point of view, being gay is not a matter of genetics as the world would have us believe. A person according to God’s word chooses the lifestyle he leads and what he does in it.

Although “In and Out” intends to be a comedy, it ends up being more of a tool for the gay rights movement. The overriding themes is that it is alright to be gay and it should be accepted, not fought. Furthermore, the film teaches incorrectly that it is not okay to believe in God and be against homosexuality. If you are, you become labeled as a narrow minded bigot.

In perhaps the most sickening scene, Hollywood reporter Peter Malloy is talking to the teacher and trying to convince him that there is nothing wrong with being gay. While Brackett says “I don’t know what I need,” Malloy excitedly believes he does know what Brackett needs and proceeds to give him a long, hard, deep kiss on the lips. From a Biblical stand point this is an abomination against God. It is standard fair as far as movies go.

The acting was mediocre and only adds to the fact that “In and Out” has no redeeming value and should be avoided.

Year of Release—1997

For more information:
  • GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
    Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
  • What about gays needs to change? Answer
    It may not be what you think.
  • What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer
  • Can a gay or lesbian person go to heaven? Answer
    If a homosexual accepts Jesus into his heart, but does not want to change his lifestyle, can he/she still go to Heaven?
  • What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality? Answer
  • Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality
Viewer Comments
I found this movie disturbing, but not from a Christian perspective. I was heavily disturbed by the image it gave. Basically it said “Men, if you aren’t grunting, crotch adjusting, sports crazy animals, you’re gay.” Myself, I like poetry, I feel compelled to dance to certain tunes. I also enjoy cooking, and hope to own my own restuarant one day. By this movie’s standards, I should be a homosexual. I’m sorry to disappoint them, but I’m every bit as heterosexual as I can be. Whether you’re homosexual or not depends solely on your sexual preference, not your personality. I also think that Howard’s caving in to homosexual propoganda and “coming out” at his wedding was a very horrible thing to do, especially considering the unstable mental state his fiance was already in.
—Mike Stabosz, high school age
I haven’t lauged this hard at a movie in a long time. Kevin Kline is a gifted comedy actor! I have to agree with another comment here, though. I had trouble believing the transition Howard went through in the film. It seemed to me that he decided he was gay simply because the community said he was or thought he was. There was nothing in the film to indicate that he was gay. All of the things they bring out, don’t indicate anything about anyone’s sexuality. The funniest scene for me was when Kline danced around the room to disco music.
—Peter Wright, age 21
I am deeply disappointed in Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline. I have been a fan of both for years, but no more. The movie was deceptive in its advertising, and I believe everyone involved with the making of it would be hard pressed to deny an agenda. I wanted to add my comments to the many here for one reason: to remind the christian community of what the gospel is; Love God first, love others second.

We have got to stop attacking the gay person, and treat them as human beings loved by God. THEN we will have a voice with them. As much as I hate to admit it, the portrayal of christians in movies of this type is usually not far off the mark. I am disgusted with this movie and the blatant push by the media and Hollywood to force everyone to accept ANY belief. What ever happened to free will?

It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic: they try to seem so “with it” and forward thinking, even intellectual, and scream for freedom, all the while trying through propaganda such as this movie to force those who don’t believe in the gay lifestyle INTO the closet. Avoid this movie at all costs for that reason if no other!
—Russell Lavender
My initial desire was to write a review of this film because of the highly sensitive nature of the topic of homosexuality in our culture and the notorious reputation we Christians have of addressing it. More than anything I think this film raised the question of what constitutes being “gay.” In the course of the film, all of the ways in which we determine who is “in” and who is “out” are debunked as faulty in the framework of common logic. As the final scene shows, if Kline’s character is gay, as charged, then the whole town is gay. This raises the question of Kline’s own “decision” that he is gay.

What does it mean to be “gay?” To be effeminite? Surely not. The question that I was left with was: on what grounds was Kline’s character convinced he was gay? Was it the kiss? Probably not. It was a complex of issues. But this is off the point. The question raised in the viewer’s mind is, does even Kline know what he admits when he says he’s gay? Does he buy into a cultural myth more than follow his “true nature?” From this perspective, I found the film helpful in a culture confused in its current state of understanding of what it means not only to be gay, but also what it means to be “straight.”
—Carl F. Flynn, age 27
As funny as this movie was, I cannot approve of it. Not only does it deal with sexual sin… but it deals with deception also. Think of the trauma his fiance will have to deal with knowing she was in love with a closet homosexual who revealed this “secret” at her wedding. THE KISS HAD TO GO! IT WAS GROSS. Even though the rest of the country is embracing the gay lifestyle w/open arms, we the people of God are right not to embrace it. We are to accept the people but not the lifestyle… which is why I saw the movie. But I don’t condone the movie. I can’t recommend it.
—Chris Utley, age 24
While this is truly propagandastic, it’s equally propagandastic to spread misinformation about a movie. I don’t remember any “recruitment”, or any “deep kiss” scene. Where’s all the uproar about the widely-released “The Full Monty,” in which working-class Londoners really are recruiting each other down a path towards homosexuality??
—Brian, age 24
All the media reviews were outright lies. The movie WAS political and it was funny at times, but these laughs were too far away from each other to merit the raving reviews… The flick was dishonest, and actually Kevin Kline did such superb acting that you believed him when he said he was NOT gay more than you did when he confessed to being gay. This “confession” takes place after a disgusting gay kiss from Tom Selleck (we are disappointed in this so called conservative) who also did a convincing role as a sleazy, gay, papparazzi type. Hence the clear vision of RECRUITMENT and CONVINCING Kline’s character that he actually is gay and only now realized it… hhhmmm—a CHOICE and not BORN that way????

Either that or Klines character, Howard was a cowardly, lying creep who deceived his sweet, doe-eyed fiancee for 3 years!!! Joan Cusack was also at her very best comedically and as the innocent girl next door at 40. This movie was so obviously a promotion of homosexuality it stinks. Christians should be warned to avoid at all costs. It really is too bad. The film had the potential to be a 5 star comedy IF they had the common sense to have the whole “gay” accusation be false but nonetheless causes Howard to question his masculinity etc.etc.The gay issue would not have been an issue. However, the obvious answer is that this was propaganda not filmmaking!!! Too bad, they could have had a winner.
—Candace Holtsbery, age 30s
We felt the movie is relating the current trend to have people agree with the “gay” lifestyle objectives. We also percieved that the intent of the movie was to make fools of the people who were apposed to the “gay” lifestyle. We also percieved a determination to want the audience come to the conclusion that is better to “come out of the closet” than to remain silent. We were somewhat surprised with the use of certain profane lines with the rating of PG-13… We were both personally abhored with the whole picture, mostly feeling that we had been duped into believing that it would be humorous.
—Penny Francis, age 46