Toronto
2 min

Everyone’s doin’ everything

Fluid sexuality runs freely in fun farce

WOULD YOU? In Bedrooms And Hallways, Angie (Julie Graham) proves that her friend Leo (Kevin McKidd) is gay - or does she? Credit: Xtra files

Leo is a nice gay bloke in downtown London, UK who’s living out his greatest fear – falling in love with a straight man.



He should have never gone to his friend’s men’s group – but he did, and there he laid eyes on Brendan, the sultry, Irish hunk whose voice “washes over you like a dark wave.”



In very short time though, it appears that Brendan is the type of straight man who can be convinced to change teams. But so, it seems, is Leo.



Unpredictable twists develop once Leo meets Brendan’s ex-girlfriend, Sally, who happens to have been Leo’s high school sweetheart. So, if you’re keeping track, Brendan is Sally’s ex and Sally is Brendan’s ex – and they are both lucky Leo’s currents.



Sounds soap operatic, but it’s not. Bedrooms And Hallways, director Rose Troche’s second feature film, is merely tangled – much like real life. And real life is what we’ve come to expect from Troche, whose 1994 hit Go Fish broke the lesbian feature film barrier like no other US film had (and hasn’t, since).



Go Fish followed a group of 20-something lesbians as they fumbled through what pretended to be a social life. Bedrooms And Hallways, in a slight variation, follows a group of mostly gay men as they approach the big 3-0. Oh yes, and this time they’re English.



Troche’s amicable style is more refined this time around. It helps that she has a much richer canvas to work with – bigger budget, tighter script (by Robert Farrar) and more experienced cast. The ensemble of actors has appeared in such films as Trainspotting (Leo McKidd), Mansfield Park (James Purefoy), Four Weddings And A Funeral (Simon Callow), Pride And Prejudice (Jennifer Ehle) and Priscilla (Hugo Weaving).



The group as a whole is so capable, one gets the idea that this light comic fare is mere child’s play for them – and play they do. There is a wonderful sense of fun throughout the whole movie – even when the film dips into heavier, sentimental moments.



If you’re the type who believes that gay is gay and straight is straight – that gay men never sleep with women and that a straight man is unlikely to bed another guy – then stay home (probably, where you’ve been hiding for the last couple of decades). This film, despite its light-hearted intent, will probably piss you off.



For everyone else, kick back, lighten up and enjoy the child’s play.

Bedrooms And Hallways opens Sat, Dec 25 at the Carlton (20 Carlton St; 416-598-2309).



Inside Out is holding a benefit screening of Bedrooms And Hallways at 7:30pm at the Backstage Theatre (31 Balmuto St) on Mon, Dec 20, with a pre-screening party at 5:30pm at 7 West (7 Charles St W). Tix are $10; call (416 977-6847.