Synopsis: Life is sweet for high-school English teacher and sports coach Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline); he's still living where he grew up, he has a good relationship with his father (Wilford Brimley) and mother (Debbie Reynolds), he's respected by his community, and he's about to marry Emily (Joan Cusack), his fiancée of three years. Fearing she was about to become an old maid, Emily has shed 75 pounds for the upcoming nuptials.
But first, the entire town of Greenleaf, IN, settles in to watch the Academy Award telecast, because young stud star Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), who attended Greenleaf High, has been nominated for an Oscar. What's more, he wins, and in his acceptance speech, singles out Howard — and announces his favorite teacher is gay.
Bob owns this movie, and we watched it at his house on what's becoming "Movie Night" almost every Tuesday night. Thanks, Bob!
My thoughts and observations about the movie:
- I absolutely love Joan Cusack in this movie, especially in this 2.5-minute scene, which is pure brilliance:
- Tom Selleck is someone I totally lusted after my entire growing up years. All while in, not out, of course.
- The way Bob Newhart stumbles when saying the word "Homosexuality" in one scene is quintessential Bob Newhart. (It's at the 57-second mark in the trailer up at the top of the entry.)
- Unfortunately, I thought this movie went from the sublime to the ridiculous in one (long) scene or less — toward the end at graduation, when everyone in the town started standing up and saying, "I'm gay." I get that they were trying to be supportive. It was just too much for too long.
- That said, however, overall I give this movie the most number of stars whatever the rating system might be.
- And of course, as a gay man who was married, this movie brings up a lot of emotional turmoil and guilt in me, but without minimizing it, I accept that as part of my life experience.