“In and Out” (1997) starring Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck and Joan Cusack is all about the influence of Hollywood on the lives of everyday people living in ordinary places. But isn’t it about a gay high school teacher coming out of the closet? But I thought it was about an unassuming English teacher “being outed” by his former pupil who happened to make a chance remark about his former teacher’s sexual orientation while receiving an Academy Award. It is all rather confusing. Some people, like Tom Selleck’s character, bigwig reporter Peter Malloy, seem to have perfect clarity about these things. But as for Mr. Howard Brackett himself (Kevin Kline), his fiancée (Joan Cusack), his parents, his friends and pretty much the rest of the world, it all comes as a big surprise.
Naturally enough, neither Mr. Brackett nor his fiancée of quite some time were at all suspicious as they carried on with their extraordinarily commonplace lives. And quite naturally, everything and everyone is thrown into a tizzy once the big “revelation” has been announced on national television. From there on in, everything gets re-examined, re-decided and recast simply on the say-so of the newly minted Hollywood star (played by Matt Dillon). The aftershock comes with quite hilarious results, naturally enough. But naturally I wonder who has the bigger problem – Howard Brackett with his questions about his sexual orientation or the rest of us who appear to be so disposed as to believe anything we hear (as long as it is salacious and announced on national television). Fortunately for all concerned, “In and Out” is a comedy and the explorations of the vagaries of human nature remain lighthearted and are often treated in a quite funny manner.
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Don't miss the entire dance sequence in Howard's "Real Men Don't Dance" routine. Catch the trailer for "In and Out" (1997).