Longing to kiss someone who may or may not want to kiss back
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Billy's first Hollywood kiss is the first enchanting romance to come out of the burgeoning gay-themed canon of mainline cinema. And Sean Hayes, who plays Billy, is the character who gives it that charm. What's even more impressive is that Billy maintains this interesting charm smack dab in the middle of a movie with some marginally sympathetic and some downright unpleasant characters wrapped in barbed wire. There's a repugnant Paul Bartels playing a hideous chicken hawk photographer that everyone fawns all over who, in reality, would be thrown off the nearest cliff. And then there's Gabriel who plays the object of Billy's affection, who indeed is kissable, but that's about it. This character is played by Brad Rowe, a jarringly distracting Brad Pitt clone, and I do mean clone. But once you've sorted all this out, and waited patiently through a couple of subplots you're ready to sit back and root for Billy. He's as tied up in knots about love as any of us, but he's so good natured and hopeful, even when he's convinced he will never be kissed at all. There is one universal scene that will cause every gay man who has ever spent the night in the same bed with a beautiful boy you weren't totally sure was gay, and longed all night, awake and heart racing, lightly touching shoulders and panting. Billy managed to get through that, and more, but you keep rooting. This movie is so good, it transcends labels and is just a romance and a good slice of twenty-something life, albeit pre-career, a good date movie, for any couple combination. It has a couple of technical production problems, and a few too many affectations, but Sean Hayes gives a near-perfect take on good natured angst. This movie gets a recommendation from me. See you at the cineplex."
A Different Kind of L.A. Story
Luis Hernandez | New York, New York, USA | 06/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A touching, funny, and sad story about a young photographer ("Will & Grace" star Sean P. Hayes) and the object of his desire (Brad Rowe), "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss," is an impressive feature-film debut for director O'Haver. Set in Los Angeles (and concluding on Santa Catalina island) Billy's infatuation with coffee-serving Gabriel allows the viewer to grasp the idea of an ideal friendship in the gay 90's. Gabriel's sexual ambiguity disturbs Billy's so called "gaydar" that Billy sets up a series of photographs inspired by classic films like "From Here to Eternity" to see whether-or-not Gabriel is gay.The film serves a visionary eye palette of colors that gives the film a catchy look. Utilizing methods to watch Nicholas Ray used in "Rebel Without A Cause," and what Pedro Almodovar utilized in "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," (both films used a technicolor red hue to give the protagonist a unique look) O'Haver successfully incorporates great color schemes and excellent lighting. The film has many sad points especially when Billy tells Gabriel the significance of his Polaroid and especially the heartbreaking ending (reminscent of the ending of "Splendor in the Grass"). I was fascinated my the creative use of the Polaroids in the telling of the story. Overall, both characters are cute, the supporting characters are excellent, and the film's script is an original escape from today's unoriginal recycled film scripts. An excellent film for all, regardless of someone's sexual orientation."
Lovely romantic kitch!
James Hiller | Beaverton, OR | 01/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" offers gay and straight film audiences something quite unique. It is a kitchy romantic love story with a gay twist, and all the trappings of a goofy romance. Sean Hayes absolutely shines as the boy-next-door, hopeless romantic photographer pre- "Will and Grace" days. Beware: Billy is not "Jack", and you will come to love his character just the same! A great supporting cast adds flavor, and the nice twist at the end just peppers a wonderful story overall. This film is creative, inventive, and wildly funny, and it made my personal "Top Ten" list for 1998. And DVD owners watch out! The commentary by director Tommy O'Haver absolutely adds to the magic of the behind the scenes of making this film. Don't miss it!"
Richard Engelhardt | Boca Raton, FL United States | 03/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is great. This film can be compared to other outstanding gay films such as "Beautiful Thing" and "Get Real".Billy is out to recreate some of the most famous Holywood kissing scenes with a bit of a twist. When he needs to find a model, he finds Mr. Perfect while being served a cup of coffee at a local diner. From then on, Billy is on a quest to claim this new model as his new love and to finish his biggest project yet. There are, however, some complications. Billy doesn't have enough money to finish the project so he needs to find another source of income and Billy doesn't know if his new crush is gay or str8.Well, I think I'll leave it at that. This is a very adorable tale of gay puppy love. This movie is worth buying."
R. Prescott | Blackfoot, Idaho USA | 12/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What I liked best about the film is the inventive way that the story was told using the Poloroid photos (too bad they're not making polaroid film any more! It was such a great medium!) and the main character, (well acted) by Sean P. Hayes, talking to the audience. We all agree that the drag queen sequences are great! Watch the opening credits more than once. And it was really great to hear Petula Clark again. I've screened it for straight and gay friends & all agreed that the film is "SO SPECIAL". Great cast, characters, sets, locations and cinematography in addition to just a great entertaining, well written film! A must see fun comedy for the 90's!"