A midwestern teacher questions his sexuality after a former student makes a comment about him at the Academy Awards.
Kevin Kline is pure bliss in the most delirious moments of this very funny but surprisingly strait-laced comedy, one that too often imagines homosexuality as a taste for bow ties and a reverence for a certain movie queen. Directed by Frank Oz with a sure hand for ''Birdcage'' humor and written by the dependably hilarious Paul Rudnick, it skewers gay and straight stereotypes with the help of a fine supporting cast. Mr. Kline plays a small-town high school teacher shocked by the suggestion, made to a billion viewers of the Academy Awards show, that he is gay. Among those sent into shock by this thought are Joan Cusack as his alarmed fiancee, Debbie Reynolds in another wicked Mom role, and Wilford Brimley as the father who earnestly asks his son, ''Will you be goin' into show business?'' Matt Dillon, Bob Newhart and Tom Selleck heighten the screwball fun. — Janet Maslin
1997-09-19 | Janet Maslin | Read the New York Times Review of In & Out