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Bedrooms and Hallways

(1998) *** R
96 min. First Run.
While modest in means, Bedrooms and Hallways is a terribly clever comedy of manners conspiring to blur the lines of sexual orientation. Director Rose Troche (Go Fish) runs with Robert Farrar's inventive reworking of romantic comedy twists and ends up with a surprisingly effective balance of humor and honesty. Kevin McKidd plays Leo, whose Robert Bly-esque "men's group"-- of which he is ostensibly the only gay member-- slowly pulls him into a couple of interlocking romantic triangles. To the film's credit, the characters never find safe footing, constantly shoved up against their greatest fears: gay falling for heterosexual, heterosexual falling for gay, available falling for unavailable. A sharp supporting cast surrounds McKidd's able center, including James Purefoy as the object of his affection, Hugo Weaving (villain of The Matrix) as a randy real estate agent, and Simon Callow as the demented leader of the men's group. Troche manages a slyly amusing and touching take on these age-old dilemmas.
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