29 March 2000 | Libretio
Good performances bolster charming comedy
KISS ME, GUIDO
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Ultra-Stereo
Writer/director Tony Vitale's comedy of (gay) manners is lightweight, inoffensive stuff distinguished by vivid performances and smart dialogue, but the film refuses to take risks and almost succumbs to blandness as a result. Ultra-cute Nick Scotti is the ultra-macho Italian-American stud who, due to circumstances beyond his control, finds himself rooming with ultra-gay Anthony Barrile. Thereafter, the film basically examines the ways in which these two disparate personalities attempt to reconcile themselves to one another, and how friendships are formed under duress. Gay viewers attuned to Vitale's sensibilities will find themselves laughing out loud at regular intervals, while everyone else will probably smile politely, admiring the witty one-liners while never really 'getting' the joke.
Everything hinges on the appeal of the central characters, and they're a bit of a mixed bag: Despite his rough-hewn exterior, Scotti's character comes across as too much of a nice guy to really pose a threat to anyone - gay or straight - but his performance is so natural and strong that he simply acts poor Barrile right off the screen! Scotti also has the distinct advantage of being devastatingly beautiful, which Vitale exploits in several amusing ways, especially a dream sequence inspired by THE SOUND OF MUSIC(!). Anthony DeSando plays Scotti's brother with an even greater degree of exaggerated studliness, like a firecracker going off on the 4th of July, while Craig Chester enjoys himself as Barrile's camp best friend. The film is charming, safe, and very watchable - and Scotti's only 'gay' kiss in the entire picture is with the one person you'd least expect. Enjoy...
NB. The movie inspired a short-lived TV series, "Some of My Best Friends" (2001), with Jason Bateman as the gay guy, and Danny Nucci as his ultra-hunky straight roommate.