Howard Brackett an English teacher has his sexuality questioned after a former student outs him whilst accepting an Academy Award! About to get married in a few weeks and facing the backlash of the very public outing Howard must eventually face the facts and accept who he is.
I am not entirely sure how exactly but I had never actually heard of this film until seeing it on Sky Cinema On Demand and deciding to download it to watch. Especially considering Joan Cusack was rightly nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 1998 Oscars!
It’s a very interesting take on a man who has never actually accepted that he is in fact gay and does not really know how to deal with the accusations when Cameron Drake outs him during his Academy Award speech. This then pretty much destroys Howard’s life as he knew it. The teachers in the school not knowing how to accept it or him along with the fact he was about to marry a fellow teacher from the school. The wedding scene was rather dramatic really after Peter Malloy a reporter had been talking to Howard and confessed that he was in fact gay and it was all fine with his family.
While managing to be a comedy and have some hilarious moments within the film, it also has a pretty tough going them with the stigma of being gay not a good thing when working in a high school. That someone being gay could be forced onto the children they are teaching and make them gay as well. This does result in a very impressive and lovely scene though as difficult as it is to watch at the beginning.
Emily Montgomery is engaged to Howard and it is pretty crazy that she didn’t see it coming considering they had been together for three years and never had anything of a sexual relationship together. This really does see a truly brilliant performance from Joan Cusack who has plenty of freaking out moments to help showcase her impressive acting skills.
Tom Selleck without his moustache as reporter Peter Malloy in a role like you have never really seen him before. A fun role, he always seems to be a little bit more serious in the different films and tv shows I have seen him in. Works fantastically with Kevin Kline creating plenty of tension and forces answers from Howard.
As Cameron Drake hears that his speech has made Howard’s life so difficult he heads back to his hometown to try to sort out the problem he has caused. This was a pretty good character development as the now actor looked like he really did not care anymore at all. Throw in Debbie Reynolds as Berniece, Howard’s mother and we have ourselves a very impressive and talented cast. I am pleased to have now watched this film as thought it offers many different thoughts and ideas on what it is like to come out, especially when the person is older in age.