Bedrooms Hallways Actor:Simon Callow Genres:Indie & Art House, Comedy, Gay & Lesbian Leo (Kevin McKidd) is an endearing pup of a blue-eyed lad looking for old-fashioned romance with a happily ever after. Convinced to join a friend's drum-thumping New Men's Group ("Let these strong loving men heal you!" ... more »begs leader Simon Callow, who all but steals the film as a man in touch with his inner guru), Leo confesses an attraction to another member of the circle in the spirit of sharing. He's the only gay man in the group but his confession starts a cascade of sexual reassessment, all encouraged by Callow's hilarious new age Iron John. Meanwhile Leo's gadfly of a roommate is having sex in other people's bedrooms all over town with his new real estate agent lover (a sly, haughtily confident Hugo Weaving) and Leo reconnects with his childhood girlfriend Sally (Jennifer Ehle), who brightens the film with her sunny smile and wounded yet spirited tenderness. Rose Troche, whose guerrilla American indie Go Fish transformed a lesbian love story into a classic romantic comedy, here straddles screwball farce and sophisticated sitcom with a clumsy style that skews more toward the latter, but she invests it with genuine affection. As the funny but flippant comedy winds up to almost painfully trite pairings between the ricocheting couples-to-be, Troche's loving direction allows everyone their dignity and their charm, even through the most contrived and kooky complications. --Sean Axmaker« less
"I just spent a hilarious three hours (well, the film is only 105 minutes, but I kept hitting the reverse button on the remote) watching Bedrooms & Hallways. This film is clever and funny.Leo and Darren, both gay, search for romance in their own individual ways. Leo is attracted to someone whom he thinks is straight. Darren just has one hell of a good time, often. And life falls apart from there.The film begins with a surprise party for Leo, at which we meet all the principal characters of the film. Then by means of one long flashback we enjoy what led up to the current state of affairs (of which there are many). The ending is hair-brained and implausible but many of these films usually end absurdly. So, not an issue.What makes this film so lovably wonderful are the characters. As for Leo, take him or leave him. He is one of those tiresome individuals who obsesses his way out of what could have been a meaningful relationship by insisting on 100% commitment. Oh, yawn. We've seen it a million times, so ignore him. Tom Hollander plays Darren to delicious excess. You may remember him from the "Absolutely Fabulous" episodes, "The Last Shout," in which he almost marries Saffron. Hugo Weaving (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert) plays Jeremy, Darren's love interest. Jeremy is a real estate agent, which gives him access to empty houses in which he and Darren meet to fulfill some eccentric fantasies. But Jeremy has to have the right decor. These two are the joy of this film. Simon Callow, as Keith, oversees a New Age men's therapy group that is hysterical. And James Purefoy is gorgeous as Brendan.Finally, a gay film in which there is lots of kissing! And it's the good old fashioned open mouth, "I think you're so hot!" variety. The DVD lacks features, but it has a short and enlightening interview with the director, Rose Troche. One point - ignore the cover. It shows Weaving looking lasciviously at Purefoy. Those two have nothing to do with each other in the film. They never even meet. Just another example of marketing ineptitude. But the disk inside is wonderful! Now go buy it, Honey."
The best gay film of 1998!
Tim Evanson | Washington, DC United States | 08/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While American studios make treacly films like "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and farces like "Jeffrey" whose comedy too often falls flat, the British have been making films like "Bedrooms and Hallways" -- side-splittingly funny, cynical without falling into caustic sarcasm or despair, and ironic only when it has to be (rather than constantly).Director Rose Troche provides the light hand guiding this thoughtful film, in which gay Leo (Kevin McKidd) -- ready to forsake love because he can't even get a date -- joins a straight men's group only to unwittingly end up seducing the entire group. His best friend, Darren (Tom Hollander), is an over-sexed clubber who trysts with his new realtor boyfriend in various homes for sale.Julie Graham is somewhat too understated as Leo and Darren's best friend, Angie. James Purefoy is warm, solid and powerfully understated as Leo's new-found "straight" love interest, Brendan. He's the perfect foil for McKidd's slightly too-nervous, too-neurotic Leo. The real standout in the cast is Hollander, who deftly walks the tightrope between obnoxiously queeny and faux-homosexual.What really makes "Bedrooms and Hallways" work is that the conclusion of the film isn't anything like you'd expect. It avoids all the cliches, twist-endings, and "depressing endings" that most directors and writers would have lazily permitted. It's a sophisticated conclusion that makes you think and feel without leaving the audience unwarrantedly happy or sad.It's appalling that BBC Films hasn't yet priced this film for sell-through."
Fluffy but funny
Bil Antoniou | Agincourt, Ontario Canada | 07/10/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Charming little film about a gay man and the crazy world that surrounds him, the film is delightful but doesn't stand too far above the many charming and delightful gay-themed British films that we've seen in the last little while (Get Real, Like It Is), but is probably most notable for being the one that really makes a concerted effort to stretch people's guidelines of what constitutes sexual orientation: the main character finds himself attracted to a straight man in his all-male therapy group, and the straight man actually goes out with him and ends becoming quite enamored in their relationship. The latter guy's girlfriend turns out to be our hero's ex-girlfriend from college, and they in turn find a possible reignition of their young puppy love. While not anything worth writing home about, the film is bright and lively and features a great Jane Austen-themed sadism dream sequence, complete with one of the film's stars Harriet Walker, who you might remember as the evil Fanny in Sense and Sensibility. Her scenes with Simon Callow are among the film's best ("I love being a woman," she says, "Not because of you but because of me.")"
A complete delight
M. J. Walters | Chicago, IL USA | 11/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had no idea what to expect, and was very pleasantly surprised when I found an intelligent, witty film about real sexuality, not the polarized you're-either-gay-or-straight stuff that everyone else seems to specialize in. The characters aren't perfect; they're stumbling around in the dark just like the rest of us, but they do it with the sort of grace I wish we were all capable of. Simply a film to warm your heart, no matter where you are on the scale. See it. I mean it."
If you like 4 wedding, my best friends wedding, etc
Bil Antoniou | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a rather sappy, silly all around charming little movie. It's not just a way gay film, I know plenty of people gay and straight who just loved it.It's very english and very charming. Imagine being a 30 year old gay man, alone and a hopeless romantic----and who do you fall in love with? A guy from your straight men's group who just broke up with his long time girlfriend! And here's the real kicker--he's into you too!The lead characters are quite likeable and even though it focuses primarily on this particular relationship and the ex-girlfriend, there are equally amusing secondary charaters and relationships that will make you smile (and occassionally shed a teer).One of the htings I like best about this film is that it isn't super campy--and its production values are quite good. Unlike some gay films, it isn't poor quality, shoestring budget film making.Definatly get this one---it's worth having and you will enjoy sharing it with friends and loved ones (it's also a really nice stay at home date night movie)."