Straight-Jacket

on November 26, 2004 by Annlee Ellingson
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Set in 1950s Hollywood against the backdrop of the Red Scare, this clever confection adopts the genre conventions of the era's madcap romantic comedies and, later, melodramas for its tale about barely closeted movie star Guy Stone (Matt Letscher). In the ill-conceived cover-up of his latest indiscretion, Guy marries unwitting studio secretary Sally (Carrie Preston), who, unaware of the sham, swiftly transforms Guy's swingin' bachelor pad into a cozy hetero love nest. Already miserable playing house, Guy's situation is only made worse when he falls in love with Rick (Adam Greer), the idealistic author of the book upon which his latest movie is based, who is both gay and a Communist.

Although the tone of the film tends toward didacticism near the end--while well-intentioned, director-writer Richard Day's admonitions against the blacklist are preaching to the choir at this point--this shift is mitigated by its mirth throughout, with jocular sight gags and witty dialogue at the expense of both the shallow showbiz world in which it's set and the socials mores of gay dating. Starring Matt Letscher, Carrie Preston, Adam Greer and Veronica Cartwright. Directed and written by Richard Day. Produced by Michael Warwick. A Regent release. Comedy. Unrated. Running time: 96 min

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