Bedrooms and Hallways (1999)

[This past Labor Day weekend, I rented a bunch of gay-themed movies for my own version of aGLIFF, especially since this year’s festival didn’t really draw me out of the apartment. The next few blog entries will cover those movies, plus others I’ve seen in the past month or so.]

If I were stuck on a desert island with a DVD player and only 10 movies — never mind the power supply or any other such details — Bedrooms and Hallways would be high on that list.

Aside from being one of the funniest films ever, it indulges in perhaps the ultimate gay male fantasy — getting seduced by a straight guy.

The main character Leo is persuaded to join a new age men’s group to explore further his “maleness”. He meets the handsome Irishman Brendan, and during one of the men’s group’s sessions, Leo admits his physical attraction to Brendan. Over the course of all that male bonding, Leo and Brendan hook up.

The monkeywrench in the whole ordeal? They have a shared past that neither of them know about.

There’s a lot of battle-of-the-sexes-styled sniping in the dialogue, and some nice philosophizing on the spectrum of sexuality. And the new age men’s group is treated with a kind of exaggeration that’s both mocking and endearing.

Julie Graham plays the best character in the movie, the fag-hag neighbor Angie, who’s always ready with the right piece of sober, zinging wisdom.

The guy-on-guy action in this movie is hot, too — I don’t know which of these actors are straight, but man, they’re convincing when they play gay.

Bedrooms and Hallways is a hilarious film. It’s English, so it doesn’t need to resort to fart jokes for humor. To use the overused blurb language, it’s smart and sexy.

You’ll like it.