Posted: 05/20/2007


Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds


by Sawyer J. Lahr

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If the word fag bothered you before, it won’t anymore. Although Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds (“the first gay American sequel ever”) doesn’t leave out the homophobic use of fag, it doesn’t attach negative associations, either. On the contrary, the film celebrates the word and everything good about being gay.

The characters are beyond stereotypes, but there is certainly no shortage. Instead, stereotypes are satirized and punch lines are delivered with media-culture savvy, encouraging laughter toward those gay and straight.

One of the film’s best traits is that it never takes itself too seriously. However, tender and sentimental moments give the characters depth and weight, especially Kyle (Jim Verraros), whose relationship with Marc (Brett Chukerman) began at the end of the first Eating Out (2004) film and is broken up within the first scenes of the sequel.

The remaining characters from the original are more developed in the second film. They are older and more certain of their identities with the exception of Kyle who has to learn better self-confidence, for lack of which Marc leaves him. Marc still loves Kyle but finds that his puppy dog-eyed and witty boyfriend no longer can satisfy his emotional needs because Kyle is “too emotional.” Marc says that Kyle is only happy when he thinks he can’t have him. However, Marc also has an insatiable need to be promiscuous, something Kyle is not very apt to do, or is he?

To reach beyond what he doesn’t like about himself, Kyle lassoes his art class’s nude model, Troy (Marco Dapper), by pretending to be an ex-gay, taking his fag hag reformed-slut friend, Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan), as his convenient companion and attending “coming-in” meetings at the university.

Little does Troy know (seemingly daft only because of his southern accent and sexual confusion), Kyle is tricking this sweet, conflicted aspiring porn actor, in part, to make his ex-beau jealous and regain their relationship, while having occasional no strings attached sex with a fellow ex-gay group member.

In the meantime, Marc is working towered the same end, in competition with Kyle, both ultimately wanting the same thing, each other, monogamy, and hapless romance.

Rather than a straight guy faking gay to get a woman (Gwen), as in the original film, Kyle pretends to be a gay man gone straight to score with Troy, taking advantage of the guy for selfish reasons. Troy doesn’t stand for this cruel embarrassment long and eventually, the whole malicious sexual feeding frenzy ends with a gay man’s worst dream.

The production quality is superior to Eating Out, and the acting remains quirky, as it should be. More intense soft-core sexual situations continue in the tradition of the earlier film, challenging boundaries of sexuality in new ways. Gwen (Emily Brooke Hands), who is Marc’s roommate, still has a professed attraction to gay men and the sequel explores the bisexuality of both Gwen and Troy.

Queer comedies like this one are milestones for queer cinema because we, as gay filmmakers and writers, are creating a tradition of comedy, allowing us to laugh at ourselves and each other and not take life so seriously.

The film tells us that, instead of stopping the spread of faggotry, we should celebrate it and spread its acceptance because, apparently, being queer is a lot of fun. It is important to note that younger generations are increasingly more gay-friendly and modern-minded people are not muddled by queers.

When all is done, what straight and gay people may have in common is that no one ever likes sloppy seconds.

Sawyer J. Lahr is a film critic living in Chicago.

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