Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m watching this movie ‘Coffee Date’ and there is a scene where actor Jonathan Bray and Wilson Cruz start making out.  I will admit that it made me a little uncomfortable, but not because of the two dudes were slobbing gums but because I was hoping like hell nobody walked in and saw me watching two dudes slobbing gums.  Mainly my older brother, because I’d have some splainin’ to do.

“What the f@ck are you watching?” he would query.
“Well, you see the big dude is actually straight,” I would say.
“How can he be straight if necking with some guy?” he would reply.
“He’s just confused”.  I would counter.
“Choosing between a glazed or a jelly donut is confusion.  Sticking your tongue down another mans throat pretty much makes you gay” he would retort.
“But he’s also a little drunk too” I would shoot back.
“Liquor might lead to sex with an 80-year old woman, but it don’t make you gay – and since you’re watching this gay-ass movie, you’re gay now” He would proclaim.
Then naturally we’d have the timeless ‘I’m not gay – you’re gay’ argument that we’ve been having since I was eight years old.

Anyway, Todd (Bray) is a divorced computer programmer who is getting ready for a blind internet date set up by his slacker brother Barry (Jonathan Silverman) who is living with him and has no future plans to leave.  Oddly, Todd’s date wants to meet at a gay coffee shop but whatever.  Kelly (Cruz) sees Todd walk in and being that he is also waiting for someone assumes Todd to be the one, but the super uptight Todd assures the super gay Kelly that this is not the case.  The pair is forced to share a table but despite Todd’s various unenlightened gay remarks it turns out that two men actually get along

famously.  Eventually they discover that Todd’s prankster brother placed his add in the ‘Men looking for Men’ section and they get a good laugh.  Since they have so much common, the little gay hair dresser and big straight programmer decide to hang out and catch a movie.  To counter the joke his brother played on him, Todd and Kelly pretend to retire to the night together which of course makes his brother think that Todd is gay for real, forces him to inform mom (Sally Kirkland) who goes P-flag on her baby boy and mayhem totally ensues.

Complicating matters are Kelly’s affections for Todd going way past the friend stage and Todd becoming even more confused about his own sexuality which leads to… well…  other stuff.  Now everybody, including the people on his job and the viewing audience, are pretty much convinced that Todd is gay for real.  But no so fast my friend because Kelly has a sexy roommate name Bonnie (Elaine Hendrix), a self proclaimed ‘fag hag’ further throwing Todd in a tizzy as all wait with baited breath to see which side of the plate Todd finally decides to bat from.

Considering the horrific comedies being released, if a film that bills itself as a comedy can make me laugh at least four times, then I qualify that as success.  ‘Coffee Date’ made me laugh quite a few times with some real precious comic situations, and on that alone I have to recommend it.  Despite how gay it is.  Of course I’m just joking about that.  But despite the timely humor ‘Coffee Date’ did have its share of problems.  Writer / Director Stewart Wade has created a film where he not written a single character, but a whole bunch of caricatures.  The uptight straight dude, the flaming gay guy – who runs a hair salon no less, the total slacker brother, and the nervous overly concerned mom are the main caricatures, but even the supporting characters are more cut-outs than real people.  But then it all could have been by design.

Also, if a character is a gay-o-phobic to the extreme that Todd is portrayed, what is the likelihood of this dude all the sudden decides to arbitrarily make some gay guy his new best friend, based on a 5 minute cup of coffee?   I’m sure anybody watching this film would implore the character of Todd to just go ahead and accept his obvious gayness and move on with his new gay life.  Now I don’t make these rules, but if a woman tells us she just ‘experimenting’, then we tend to go ahead and buy that.  However if you see one of your boys with his tongue down some dudes throat and he tries to tell you he was just ‘experimenting’, well, he’s now known as our gay friend.  I don’t make these rules.

But ‘Coffee Date’ was funny.  Very funny.  Very gay, but very funny, and when you’re watching it and somebody catches you watching it, you BETTER not say ‘Christopher Armstead told me to watch it’.  Don’t put the blame on me.

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