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

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

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.