The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green

2005, R, 88 min. Directed by George Bamber. Starring Daniel Letterle, David Monahan, Diego Serrano, Meredith Baxter, Dean Shelton.

REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., Aug. 4, 2006

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green

Ethan Green is mostly unfabulous. Like so many romantic comedies – gay, straight, either, neither – it gives us a couple as exciting to watch as evaporation and squanders its second bananas. It’s a small point in the film for Office Space’s Richard Riehle to be clad in a caftan and Easter bonnet as a fussy old queen, while supermom icon Baxter is a busybody same-sex wedding planner. Meanwhile, Ethan (Letterle) searches for Mr. Right in all the wrong places: with a dissolute 19-year-old twink (Shelton) and with a baseball player struggling to emerge from the closet (soap star Serrano). Will Ethan find love in the last place he expected? Most likely. Eric Orner’s eponymous comic has been adapted with allegiance, but there’s little sparkle onscreen. A dreadful board-game leitmotif identifies Ethan as the “romantic hero,” but the script barely attempts to fill him in besides posing him with self-help books (Finding the Boyfriend Within) and dreamy looks. He may be understated as a comic hero, but this Ethan seems underwritten. There are wacky flashbacks – grade-school classmates cruise each other during a student play about nutrition – and there’s an animated segment about a depressed real estate agent, but there’s just not enough real heart to go along with the cutesiness. Shot on digital video, the production has a certain scrappy underdog charm but doesn’t flout any aspects of the romantic-comedy formula. I’d stand in line to see a love story entirely about the Hat Sisters (Riehle and Joel Brooks), minor characters who serve as set dressing despite the fact they’re far more interesting than the pretty-vacant leads.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Daniel Letterle Films
Camp
After watching Todd Graff’s sunshiny ode to all things musical and teenaged and sexually tormented, I began to develop serious doubts as to whether or ...

Marc Savlov, Aug. 15, 2003

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories
Books

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, George Bamber, Daniel Letterle, David Monahan, Diego Serrano, Meredith Baxter, Dean Shelton

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle