All Over the Guy

on August 10, 2001 by Michael Tunison
The course of true love does not run smoothly in "All Over the Guy," but it does run fairly predictably. So it's a good thing this mostly gay romantic comedy has enough flashes of whippy humor to pep up what otherwise might have been a routine boy-meets-boy tale.

Screenwriter/leading man Dan Bucatinsky's opposites-attract storyline (adapted from his play "I Know You Are, But What Am I?") pairs his sensitive, "Planet of the Apes" memorabilia-collecting journalist Eli with hunky special-education teacher Tom (Richard Ruccolo from TV's "Two Guys and a Girl"), a can't-commit type accustomed to loving 'em and leaving 'em. Set up on a disastrous blind date by their hetero best friends (Adam Goldberg and Sasha Alexander), the boys initially seem to have nothing in common, but an uneasy fling develops as circumstances continually throw them together. Will each lover manage to get over his pet neuroses sufficiently to find out if the other is indeed The One?

Director Julie Davis ("Amy's Orgasm") keeps the tone light and the sarcasm heavy as the characters, gay and straight, navigate the perilous shoals of love and sex in anything-goes, seen-it-all Westside Los Angeles. Interestingly, Bucatinsky's script reserves most of its funniest material for the secondary relationship between the wry Goldberg ("Saving Private Ryan") and sassy, scene-stealing Alexander (TV's "Dawson's Creek"), as well as a priceless cameo by "Friends" goofball Lisa Kudrow as a talent-challenged voice actress earnestly applying Method techniques to a commercial for an energy-bar snack. The central romance between Eli and Tom is less inspired, though Bucatinsky and Ruccolo are agreeable enough actors to follow around for an hour and a half. For the most part, they pull off the feat of convincing us that they don't see the next angst-inducing plot point coming. If only the audience could say the same. Starring Dan Bucatinsky, Richard Ruccolo, Adam Goldberg, Sasha Alexander, Doris Roberts, Lisa Kudrow and Christina Ricci. Directed by Julie Davis. Written by Dan Bucatinsky. Produced by Susan Dietz, Donnie Land, Juan Mas and Dan Bucatinsky. A Lions Gate release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for strong sexual content and language. Running time: 95 min.

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