In All Over the Guy’s press notes, executive producer Don Roos insists, “The movie is completely free of all stereotypes and political messages. If you’re a straight audience, you may only realize later that you’ve watched all of this happen between two gay men.” I wish I’d had a ruler to measure how much his nose grew while uttering those sentences. Only a sight-and-hearing impaired moviegoer could fail to notice that All Over the Guy is an unabashed gay-dating comedy. Whereas Roos could justifiably claim that The Opposite of Sex, which he wrote and directed, was devoid of stereotypes and political agendas, Julie Davis’ movie, written by and starring Dan Bucatinsky, is constructed of clichés and pro-gay, relationships-are-universal sentiments. Bucatinsky plays Eli, a neurotic, kvetching Los Angeles crime reporter whose best friend fixes him up with Tom (Richard Ruccolo), a recovering alcoholic who teaches special-ed classes. Surviving a disastrous first date, the men soon feel comfortable together and end up in bed. Possessive Eli wants a long-term relationship; gun-shy Tom retreats. They break up but are reunited at a wedding where they’re finally able to express their feelings for each other. Contrary to Roos’ assertions, both characters are self-pitying stereotypes—the insecure spawn of oppressively liberated Jewish psychotherapists and the self-hating product of a dysfunctional WASP marriage. Only their homosexuality distinguishes them from the protagonists of innumerable fear-of-commitment romantic comedies, and these days that’s hardly the “exciting and radical development” that Roos professes. Davis’ faceless direction, hampered by the screenplay’s cumbersome dual narration—Eli tells his side of the story to a sympathetic AIDS clinic receptionist while Tom offers his version at an AA meeting—does little to refresh this trite boy-meets-loses-regains-boy scenario. The only bright spots are cameos by Christina Ricci, as Eli’s blunt sister, and pop-eyed Andrea Martin, as Eli’s whacked-out analyst mom. —Joel E. Siegel

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