All The Rage

See it, but know that it has problems
★★
☆☆
Released: 
1997
Director: 
Roland Tec
Starring: 
John-Michael Lander, David Vincent, David Outlaw
The Setup: 
Interesting and different gay film, rife with flaws
Discussion: 

This movie is poorly acted and put together, but it's unique in its subject matter, and I think that makes it worth seeing.

This is supposedly a satire of the shallowness of certain types of gays (they're called "twinks," "Gym Bunnies" and "Chelsea Boys" where I am) who are rich, overly groomed and superficial. It follows one guy, a shallow heartbreaker, as he falls in love with someone not of his "class."

A HUGE problem is the acting. I felt that a lot of the lines would have been funny if the actors could have sold them well. With a satire like this, the actors need to go at lines like "Are you telling me you dated someone who doesn't work out?" with absolute sincerity, but what we get is a sort of "I'm just an actor, I'm not really this shallow " kind of irony. It kills the entire script. Lines that were funny when I read them in a review are absolutely flat on screen. One gets the impression the director asked his friends to be in the movie, and the result is the slightly embarrassed feeling of watching community theater.

Thematically, the movie is VERY tame. It doesn't really go far in satirizing its characters, and ends up in some ways reinforcing their viewpoints. A character who is not rich and doesn't work out is seen as SO DIFFERENT it's SHOCKING that our main character would even BE SEEN with him! The seriousness with which the film takes this 'dilemma' eventually contradicts its point that it shouldn't matter.

And I'm sorry... starring David OUTLAW?

I pray that the subtle wordplay of the title is not lost on you.

Near the end our protagonist is upbraided for not calling a guy when he said he would and basically being a playboy. I'm sorry, since when is this a crime in gay circles? Did he say he was a virgin and that they would be married? The effect one leaves the theater with is one of those superficial types [that the movie aims to criticize] saying (and we've all heard it) "Oh I'm so superficial, it's awful" when you know they don't really mean it and in fact think it’s adorable. I was curious to see WHO would go to see this movie, and was disappointed to see that it is the very audience the movie pretends to criticize. They seemed absolutely unfazed.

But the fact that this movie DOES examine these attitudes at all I think makes it worth a viewing. It's one of those that's better to talk about than to sit through. And, if you're attracted to those kinds of hairless chiseled body types, there is ample chest on display... though if you're seeing this film for that reason, anything it has to say, I suspect, would be irrelevant to you.

Should you watch it: 

It can’t hurt, if you’re into that kind of thing.