In & Out (1997)

If Philadelphia was a screwball comedy.

When dim-bulb actor Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon) wins an Oscar for playing a gay Marine, he outs his high school drama teacher, Howard Brackett (Kevin Kilne), in his acceptance speech. It all comes as a surprise to Howard — not to mention his long-suffering fiancée, Emily (Joan Cusack). With his wedding just days away, Howard’s under the gun to get everything (ahem) straightened out.

The film is basically a riff on Tom Hanks’ 1994 Oscar speech where he outed his own high-school teacher in front of the whole world. And for some reason I kind of wish it stayed that way.

This movie takes delight in poking fun at stereotypes of many varieties and does it all with a straight face (pardon the pun). There is no mean spirited about the film. Not every joke hits a perfect target, but when it does I laughed out loud.

That was my big problem with this film that a lot of the comedy didn’t actually feel like it hit the right mark it wanted to. The gay jokes kind of did get annoying and didn’t really change for me, and at times made the film even more excruciating to watch.

The film also takes a horrible and way too sympathetic ending that really did kill the movie for me. In my mind, the ending was just a cop-out for not having to show anymore gay things happen. Director Frank Oz has his heart in the right place but it doesn’t quite come out near the ending.

Kline gives a very funny and stellar performance here as Howard, and basically shows he can play the zaniest of characters. However, the best here really is Joan Cusack who every time is on the screen just really did make me laugh even more and more as the film went on. The screen-time for her wasn’t huge but with the time she was given she made the best of it.

Consensus: Doesn’t quite hit the mark with its humor and sympathy, but In & Out does feature funny performances from the cast, and some genuine funny moments that do hit the right spot.



  1. The movie was funny, but I thought it was stereotypical about making a real life event into comedy of errors.

    Joan Cusack was good. I’m glad she was nominated for an Oscar. Other than that, I was bad.

  2. man, she was nominated for an oscar for this? never knew that… she should be nominated every year.
    good review, although i think you liked it more than the 5 you have given it.
    some of the gay references have dated badly but its still a fun movie, Kline, Cusack and Dillon are all great

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