Adam & Steve

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Adam & Steve

Opens at Harvard Exit, Fri., May 12. Not Rated. 99 minutes.

  • Adam & Steve

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    Surely everyone who reviews this movie will make the same observation, so I may as well open with it: Finally, a sophomoric gross-out comedy for gay men! Have you been feeling left out? Envious of 14-year-old straight boys' favored status in Hollywood? Longing for an embarrassing, witless comedy that embraces your needs and your concerns? Wait no more!

    OK, Craig Chester's directorial debut isn't entirely witless. The opening is promising: It's New York City, 1987, and during a night of clubbing, clueless Adam (Chester) and his pal Rhonda (Parker Posey, amusingly unrecognizable in a fat suit) run into Steve (Malcolm Gets), a buff "Dazzle Dancer" suffering through routines that make Solid Gold choreography look like Balanchine. So far so good—campy send-ups of '80s cheese are pretty reliable laugh getters. But Adam and Steve's one-night stand ends in scatological fiasco, causing our two heroes to flee and lose touch.

    Flash forward 17 years. Steve is a psychiatrist who moonlights as a vet (don't ask); Adam bakes birthday cakes for his dog in lieu of having a satisfying social life. They remeet and launch a relationship—yet without recognizing each other. (Having left behind their glam '80s getups, it's entirely plausible they wouldn't.) Will their blossoming romance survive Adam's baggage? The resentment of Steve's ostensibly straight, obviously jealous roommate (Chris Kattan)? Will they eventually figure out, "Hey, you're that guy?"

    The odd thing is, the movie's courtship scenes are actually pretty sweet and believable. (Well, except for an excruciating 9/11 speech: "These are crazy times . . . makes things like security and commitment more important.") Gets is genuinely charming; Posey and Kattan struggle honorably to rise above the material; and Chester— daringly breaking new ground in his portrayal of the first neurotic Jewish man in film history—is not entirely unlikable. As for the rest, about one joke in 30 lands, and you feel ill watching old troupers Julie Hagerty and Paul Sand being humiliated as Adam's parents. The climax, a two-stepping dance duel (I wish I were kidding), is one of the most cringe-inducing production numbers since . . . well, actually, I can't think of anything this hideous. And I'm speaking as someone who loved—loved—Death to Smoochy. When I say don't bother with this one, please trust me.

     
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