DATELINE: Two Lumps?
You have here a comedy of manners about the hellish life of a man whom everyone presumes is gay. This includes his mother and brother, and sundry supporting characters in the tale entitled Coffee Date.
You have here the classic misunderstanding and crossed identity.
Jonathan Bray certainly is an actor one might presume is gay. We know that his costar, Wilson Cruz, is a well-known gay actor who specializes in playing gay characters anywhere called upon. Here, he is a well-heeled owner of a beauty salon—and an excellent catch for anyone looking for a boyfriend.
Bray grows increasingly indignant and strident that no one will listen to his shrill protests too much and too often that he is straight (including to his ex-wife who insists she had nothing to do with his apparent conversion therapy).
Shirley Kirkland (coproducer and playing the smother) becomes increasingly unsympathetic. Bray’s slob brother (Jonathan Silverman fallen onto hard times) sets him up with an Internet date with unknown sex identity named “Kelly.” Silverman’s role grows more and more unbelievable.
NO pictures are exchanged on a truly blind online date, as if to heighten the preposterous nature of the film. When Bray meets Cruz, it is amusingly homophobic, but shrill as it continues.
There is some subtext about how a friendship can occur between a straight man and an adoring gay one. If the audience accepts the premise, you have low-brow Oscar Wilde and the importance of being earnest if not disingenuous.
A plethora of cheesy gay films has hit the streaming lists, leading one to wonder how and why they are made: usually about teenagers and first gay love & death. We are spared that tripe here.
We have steered clear of those irksome tales and sampled more mature characters in search of a purpose. This trifle boasts more staying power than most. It is more than tolerable. However, as per usual, we give our caution…
View at your own risk.