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i've always been a kevin kline fan , silverado , fish called wanda , pirates of penzance , and even his hamlet on pbs' great performances .
the minute i saw the trailer for this film , i resolved to see it .
besides the fact that kline starred , it looked like a hilarious film .
i got sucker punched by the trailer to an extent , however , as i also thought , " wow , if there's this much funny stuff in the trailer , there must be a ton of laughs in the rest of the film . "
( oops ) i packed up the wife and headed to les cinemas del diablo ( my name for our local multi-multi-plex . )
the film began . . . .
the film concerns an english/drama teacher at a suburban high school , named howard brackett .
he loves poetry and great literary works , but his class is more interested in his famous former student , played by matt dillon .
( i'd put in his name , but my wife won't let me take notes during a movie and i've forgotten it . )
they continually interrupt his long poetic expositions with fawning questions about him .
brackett has been engaged to another teacher ( played by joan cusack ) for three years , and has finally gotten up the gumption to marry her .
the wedding , however , becomes the big question mark of the film as this famous student of his says during the live oscar broadcast that brackett is a homosexual .
kline spends most of the first two-thirds of the film frantically trying to convince everyone that he isn't .
the whole town begins to examine every detail of his life and begins to identifying all those things that confirm his sexual preference .
his closest friends don't help matters , bringing nothing but barbara streisand laserdiscs to his stag party .
there are some genuinely hilarous moments , one involving a tape geared towards helping men assert their masculinity .
kline is hounded by a gay reporter played by tom selleck , who waxes poetic on the benefits of coming out , while at the same time doing his best to exploit the situation for his own sleazy tabloid machinations .
the movie moves along fine and slowly builds to the climax of the wedding .
kline stands at the altar and is asked to take his vows . . .
if you want to be surprised , don't read , i am going to reveal the ending .
. . . instead of saying " i do " in front of his parents and most of the town , and even some cameras , he says " i'm gay . "
this is where the movie , in my opinion falls apart .
most of the humor in the film had come from kline's insistence that he was straight , while at the same time , loving poetry and being a senstivie guy , dressing well , and occaisionally acting prissy .
it reminded me of the " effeminate heterosexual " sketch from saturday night live .
it was funny , it was sustainably funny , and kline's performance made it doubly so .
however , after the wedding , the film drags on .
they should have attempted to come to a quick conclusion , but it then gets into the serious side of what he's done .
he reconciles with his parents and his friends , some of which had turned on him .
there are several scenes which seemed like a waste of time , the scene with his mother and her friends , which was hilarious , seemed pointless , and the scene with tom selleck in the bar with joan seemed pointless .
finally , even though i am not catholic , i found the scene with the priest to be condescending .
the preist cannot believe that a man was engaged for three years and had not consumated the relationship , proclaiming to brackett in the third person , " he's gay . "
it got a chuckle from the audience , but i was distracted by it , and began to tire of the film .
by the time the wedding had come and gone , i found myself hoping it would be over soon .
( much like this review you are saying )
overall , if i have to quantify it , i say , rising action gets * * * * and climax and falling action gets .
see it in economy time .