Adam & Steve
Not rated, 99 min. Directed by Craig Chester. Starring Craig Chester, Malcolm Gets, Parker Posey, Chris Kattan, Melinda Dillon, Paul Sand, Sally Kirkland, Julie Hagerty.
Are you sitting down? You should be, for here we have a real surprise: a gay couples’ relationship movie with a lovely supporting cast, considerable insight into the trouble thirtysomethings have staying together, and absolutely no coming-out agony. It’s the most honest, refreshing comedy about love – gay, straight, or both – I’ve seen in many moons, and at the end everyone’s problems are solved by a country & western dance battle with drag doyenne Jackie Beat on the mic. Right on. Adam (Chester) is an awkward Long Island goth – “Rex Havoc,” he calls himself – when he meets Steve (Gets) at Danceteria in 1987. The attraction is instant, and before the night is through Adam is hoovering up Steve’s coke and pawing his body-glittered pecs. But there’s an embarrassing accident – let’s just leave it at that – and they don’t meet again for 17 years. When they do, can they make it work – older, wiser, and sober? They’ll meet the parents, which brings in Dillon and Hagerty – wonderful comic actresses who’ve been abandoned to sheer crap (think: Freddy Got Fingered) since they’re over 50, but this small, independent production with heart appreciates them. Some of the jokes are awfully lowbrow, but the movie is warm and relaxed, never mean-spirited, so it doesn’t hurt to laugh at its characters’ humiliating missteps en route to true love. (Or as Adam defines it, “OK sex with the same person on a regular basis.”) Its goofy but good-hearted tone recalls 1997’s Kiss Me, Guido, a crossover cult hit co-starring Chester in the plum part of bitchy best friend. (Here, Posey fits the bitchy-best-friend bill beautifully.) Because he’s been knocking around with Christine Vachon for ages, Chester is more assured in front of the camera than behind it, but his writing and directing debut is still a breezy lark with date-movie potential for all occasions and persuasions.
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