Combustible Celluloid
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With: Steven Weber, Michael T. Weiss, Patrick Stewart, Bryan Batt, Christine Baranski, Victor Garber, Camryn Manheim, Sigourney Weaver, Kathy Najimy, Ethan Phillips, Debra Monk, Peter Maloney, Michele Pawk, Nathan Lane, Olympia Dukakis, Gregory Jbara, Kevin Nealon
Written by: Paul Rudnick
Directed by: Christopher Ashley
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexuality and language
Running Time: 92
Date: 08/04/1995

Jeffrey (1995)

3 Stars (out of 4)

In Cats

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Jeffrey is written by Paul Rudnick (fast becoming the toast of Hollywood), based on his own play. Rudnick previously injected life into Addams Family Values, the snappy sequel to the lame original. Jeffrey sparkles, not so much with funny jokes, but with witty talk. The characters are all crisp and interesting people, and the movie is photographed in a way that compliments them; New York has never looked so colorful and sharp, not even in more mainstream films like When Harry Met Sally....

To be truthful, even though it's a relatively short film, it still could have been trimmed here and there for a leaner flow. A couple of scenes lag just a bit. A very funny scene with Olympia Dukakis seems misplaced. Sigourney Weaver's excellent turn as a bitchy televangelist has no payoff. As sketches, these scenes are funny in themselves. What do you go for in the end, the laughs, or a tight film? However, since this is primarliy a romance, the audience is waiting for the payoff at the end, and it feels late when it gets there.

Jeffrey is bound to earn some points for being a good gay film. It's nice that the romantic leads are just people, and not swishy caricatures. That stuff is left to comic sidekicks Patrick Stewart and his partner (who is in Cats). They look like they're having a ball. If you've never seen any kind of gay film at all, (Philadelphia, My Own Private Idaho, etc.), this is a good one to start with. If you're already gay-friendly, then this is one of the year's best romantic comedies.

Best Buy Co, Inc.