Bedrooms & Hallways

"Good"

Bedrooms & Hallways Review


Gay guys whining about their complicated sex lives may be wearing a bit thin as a staple for alternative romantic comedies, but "Bedrooms and Hallways" gives this retread genre a good, swift kick in the pants.

A light, soap-operatic satire of shifting sexual orientation from Rose Troche, the director of "Go Fish," this Brit import has been a buzz flick at Gay and Lesbian film festivals all year long for its steady supply of laughs, its exploration of sexual identity and its somewhat surprising last act.

Kevin McKidd ("Trainspotting") stars as Leo, a reserved, romantically frustrated 30-year-old whose surprise birthday party, which opens the film, quickly becomes an fusion of all the entanglements in his life.

As he holes up in his bedroom trying to escape potential social calamity, the movie rewinds a few months to lay the groundwork for Leo's dread.

It seems his new lover, Brendan (James Purefoy), is on the rebound from heterosexuality, having just broken up with his girlfriend of seven years, and may be just testing the waters of the gay lifestyle. As if that's not enough, Brendan's ex (Jennifer Ehle) turns out to be Leo's high school sweetie, from when he was still straight himself. And guess what happens to his heart when he sees her again? Talk about your love triangles.

Meanwhile, hilarious subplots pop up regarding 1) Leo's oversexed roommate (Tom Hollander), whose real estate agent boyfriend (Hugo Weaving, "The Matrix," "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") has a hankering for doing it in other people's houses, and 2) Leo's hesitant participation in a deadpan New Age men's group (rebirthing, tantric sex, wild-man weekends abound), where he sets off a homosexuality domino effect by confessing his attraction to one of the other members.

Troche maintains a buoyant, if sarcastic, mood as she weaves Leo in and out of comedically uncomfortable situations and through the complicated question of his own sexual orientation, eventually leading back to the party, where he's faced all at once with everyone we meet throughout the picture and all the complications they represent to him.

Although it's sometimes reminiscent of delightful "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss," "Bedrooms and Hallways" is a more slick and skillful comedy, even though it has its muddy moments (some relationships are ill-defined and a few seemingly important characters virtually disappear).

Troche's energetic shooting of the party scene and stylistic, soundstage takes on Leo's dream sequences (he imagines himself making out in a beach movie and trapped in a Jane Austen novel) are distinctive, and the intimacy she portrays with face-to-face pans and meandering close-ups in love scenes really brings out the film's covert romanticism.

And the great cast doesn't hurt. McKidd is ideal as the slightly insecure, sexually confused everyman and Purefoy brings some depth to his hunky plot catalyst, but it's the scene-stealing supporting cast that you'll remember most from this movie -- especially the luminous and magnetic Jennifer Ehle ("Wilde," "Pride and Prejudice"), as the girl who comes between Leo and his beau (or did Leo come between them?) and Simon Callow ("Four Weddings and a Funeral") as the oh-so-sincere leader of the men's group, a great goof on the kind of lost idiots that wrap themselves in a blanket of New Age b.s.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.