All Over the Guy (review)

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It’s a story oft told, but that doesn’t mean another one brought to life with humor and insight isn’t worth a look. Neurotic Eli (Dan Bucatinsky: Bounce) has all but given up on the dating scene, but acquiesces to a blind date his best friend, Brett (Adam Goldberg: Babe: Pig in the City), sets him up on with gruff but cute Tom (the Ed Burns-ish Richard Ruccolo)… which is only a pretext for Brett to get together with Tom’s best friend, Jackie (Sasha Alexander: Twin Falls Idaho), anyway. While Brett and Jackie hit it off immediately and seem headed for the altar from the moment they meet, Eli and Tom have things a little rougher: Tom’s fear of intimacy, well earned from watching the mess his parents made of their relationship, and Eli’s over-sensitivity, inherited from his touchy-feely therapist parents, threatens to quash their potentially promising relationship before it even gets started. Bucatinsky’s screenplay — his first — clearly incorporates some autobiographical elements (his boyfriend is The Opposite of Sex‘s Don Roos, who produced this film), but you don’t need to know that Eli and Tom’s relationship is adapted from Bucatinsky’s stage play about a straight couple to see that this charming, warmhearted flick isn’t about a gay relationship but about the ups and downs of any romantic relationship: the infuriating little tics about our lovers that drive us crazy, the way that everyone’s weird, perfectly ordinary dysfunctional families screw us up. Funny and perceptive and above all human, this is a love story in which all of us will recognize a little bit of ourselves.

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