Watch In & Out
- 1 hr 30 min
In & Out is a comedy film released in 1997 and directed by Frank Oz. The movie features a talented cast that includes Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack, Tom Selleck, and Matt Dillon. The film follows the story of Howard Brackett (played by Kevin Kline), a beloved high school English teacher in a small Indiana town who is about to get married to one of his former students.
However, when a famous actor Cameron Drake (played by Matt Dillon) thanks him in his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards for "inspiring" him to come out as gay, Howard's perfect life is shaken to its core. The town takes this statement as an announcement that Howard is gay, and the once-beloved teacher's life is turned into a hellish nightmare. Howard's mother, father, and fiancÃ©e (played by Joan Cusack) all rush to console him and deny the accusations, and Howard himself is thrown into doubt about his own sexuality. Even more troubling than the accusations are the doubts which Howard begins to feel about his own identity.
Tom Selleck's character, Peter Malloy, is the reporter assigned to cover Howard's story when he is outed. Malloy is a former student of Howard's and is intrigued by the story of a beloved educator suddenly dealing with the stress of the public eye. As the story unfolds, Malloy begins to suspect that Howard's sexual orientation is more complex than anyone realizes, and that he might even have feelings for one of the other men in town.
The movie's comedic elements come from the farcical situations that Howard finds himself in as he tries to decipher his true identity while dealing with the attention of the press and the turmoil that comes with being outed. Howard's struggle is compounded by his need to placate his mother and father, who are more concerned about his perceived masculinity than his actual happiness. The film manages to balance the humor with the more dramatic elements and offers a satisfying conclusion that speaks to the complexity of sexual identity.
Throughout the movie, Howard finds himself in absurd moments, such as an attempted seduction by a former student (played by the ever-charming Lauren Ambrose), who offers to "help" him figure out his sexuality. Meanwhile, his mother (played by Debbie Reynolds) tries to convince him that his interest in poetry and teaching English are signs of his masculinity. Kevin Kline's comedic timing and delivery is spot-on, and he effortlessly brings to life the character's flustered confusion.
Joan Cusack steals the show with her portrayal of Emily, Howard's long-time fiancÃ©e, who is unwilling to accept the idea that her future husband might be gay. She goes to great lengths to convince him that he is straight, including enlisting exotic dancers to perform for him and recommending testosterone boosting supplements. Cusack's comedic ability and her fantastic chemistry with Kevin Kline create some of the movie's most memorable scenes.
Tom Selleck is also exceptional as the curious and supportive Malloy. He brings depth to the character beyond being a simple journalist and is, in many ways, one of the film's leading voices of reason. He serves as a sounding board for Howard in the film's most introspective moments and is a welcome presence throughout the movie.
In & Out was one of the first mainstream movies to tackle the subject of homosexuality in a light-hearted, comedic way. It calls attention to the importance of accepting oneself and others for who they are, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The film handles the subject matter with sensitivity and delicacy, touching on the emotional stress that comes with being outed.
In & Out is a charming comedy that manages to balance humor and drama. Armed with an outstanding cast and a clever script, it's an enjoyable watch that is still relevant today. It is a reminder that sexual identity is complex and that there should never be any shame in being true to oneself. Whether you're looking for a laugh or want to see some of the 90s best stars in a well-crafted movie, you will not be disappointed.
In & Out is a 1997 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 70.