“Another Gay Movie,” a spoof made by gay filmmakers for gay audiences, falls into the same traps as “The Singles Ward,” a 2002 spoof made by Mormon filmmakers for Mormon audiences. These movies have little in common aesthetically, but they make the same mistakes.
“The Singles Ward” was packed with cameos by Mormon and/or Utah celebrities and used a scattershot storyline to poke fun at the goofier elements of Mormon culture (but not doctrine). But when it should have been turning the satire on full-blast, that’s when it chose to become maudlin and serious.
Replace “Mormon” with “gay” in the preceding analysis and you get “Another Gay Movie.” Instead of Shawn Bradley and LaVell Edwards turning up for awkward cameos, we have Richard Hatch (the naked guy from Season 1 of “Survivor”) and gay comedian Ant. Jokes are similarly random and inclusive, where even people within the target demographic may not be pop-culturally savvy enough to get them, and the plot goes sappy on us instead of continuing the raucous mockery.
The story is a gay twist on “American Pie,” alternating between parodying it and simply re-using it, though I suspect the filmmakers are the sort who don’t see the difference. Four gay teens, just graduated from high school, vow to lose their virginity before they go to college in the fall. Andy (Michael Carbonaro) is the normal-ish one, the equivalent of Jim in “American Pie,” caught here in flagrante with a quiche rather than a pie. Jarod (Jonathan Chase) is a jock who believes his junk is unimpressive. Griff (Mitch Morris), the nerd, is secretly in love with Jarod, evidently unaware of the latter’s smallness issues. And Nico (Jonah Blechman) rounds out the foursome as the flamingly, outrageously flamboyant one.
Insensitive types are perhaps wondering why the four don’t all just sleep with each other and get it over with. Shows what you know! Friends don’t have sex with each other just because they’re both gay! (Except for the times when they do.)
Anyway, what ensues is a bright, candy-colored parade of tryin’-to-get-some scenarios. The lads go to clubs, look online and seek out referrals, cattily monitoring one another’s progress as they go. Some of the situations are funny, particularly when Scott Thompson is on the screen as Andy’s too-helpful father, but many of them are hoping to get by sheerly on outrageousness. When Nico has an embarrassing intestinal incident while prepping for what he hopes will be his deflowering, I thought: This is the same thing that happened to Jeff Daniels in “Dumb & Dumber.” Ah, but Jeff Daniels’ character wasn’t gay, and a naked Richard Hatch wasn’t sitting outside the bathroom door!! So it’s not just a rip-off of another movie. It’s a GAY PARODY! See how brilliant it is?
Ugh. The movie has too much of that, “that” being both poo-poo-pee-pee humor, as well as rehashings of old plot devices where all they’ve done is throw in some gay pop-culture references, as if that were all it required. Writer/director Todd Stephens does well when he keeps the jokes sly, as he does with the few “Mommie Dearest” references. When he’s blaring the jokes’ intentions through a megaphone, the subtlety is lost.
Yet there are times when he achieves a sort of reckless abandon, throwing everything madly out there to see what works, and you can respect that kind of energy. His cast, while not the most gifted of comic actors (and more skill in that area would have helped some scenes), are nonetheless eager, game, and apparently unselfconscious. Their willingness to do ANYTHING for a joke is admirable, no matter how misguided some of the jokes may be.
C (1 hr., 32 min.; )