Reviewed by: Gregory Simmons
Edited by: Ken James
“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