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Gray Matters


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Gray Matters, 2007

I've seen this flick a couple of times already. It's by first time writer/director Sue Kramer, and is an homage to the coming out story of her sister Carolyn. It stars Heather Graham, Tom Cavanagh, Bridget Moynahan, Sissy Spacek, Molly Shannon, Alan Cumming and the L Word's resident British beauty Rachel Shelley.

I'm torn on this one--the first time I saw it, I loved it. Then, the second time I saw it, I realized all of the flaws in the storyline. Put simply, the film is about this: Gray (Graham) and Sam (Cavanagh) are brother and sister who spend so much time together that people think they are dating. They promise to look for mates for one another. Gray spots Charlie (Moynahan) in a dog park, and it is love at first sight for her and Sam--so much so that within hours, they decide to marry (yeah, right!) Against Gray better judgement, the 3 head to Vegas 6 days later, where she and Charlie share a room and bond (the girls take a bath together, and hit a seedy club where they end up onstage singing "I Will Survive" with Gloria Gaynor). After WAY too many drinks, Gray and Charlie return to their room where they engaged in the much-publicized full-on girl-on-girl make session. If you're one of the few people on earth who has not seen the kiss, you can see it here: http://us.video.aol.com/?pmmsid=1850106

I'll admit, that kiss is HELLA hot, and seeing on a big screen made me want to kiss the person next to me lol. Heather and Bridget really went for it, and they have the tongue shots to prove it.

After the kiss, Charlie passes out, leaving Gray pacing the floor all night, freaking out. When she tries to talk to Charlie about it the next day, she realizes that Charlie has no recolletion of the kiss. Bummer! Sam and Charlie happily wed, and Gray is left questioning her sexuality (at age 30). The first person she tells is her screwball therapist (Spacek), who tells her that she is not gay, but that she subconsciously tried to sabatoge Sam's wedding because of her jealousy over Charlie (not wanting to lose Sam, etc.). However, after her new-found realization, and 3 failed dates with the fellas, Gray realizes that she is indeed waiting for "Mrs. Right." Gordy (Cumming) plays a cabbie with a crush on Gray, but he also realizes she's gay, and turns out to be a great confidante for her. He takes her to her first gay bar, and as a man, they would not let him in. VERY unconvincingly (and as an insult to the audience's intelligence), he dons drag to enter the club. It is there that Gray sees her "bitchy" client (Gray is an advertising exec), Julia Bartlett (Shelley). Cumming quickly exits the bar, leaving Gray ripe for Julia's...uh..."plucking." And, "pluck" they do, but we only get to see Gray leaving Julia's swanky apartment building the next day, wearing the same clothes.

There are some pretty funny parts in the movie--the part where Gray accidentally comes out to the ENTIRE office is hilarious. Also, Molly Shannon has some funny lines as Gray's co-worker and friend, Carrie. But, some questions remain unanswered for me:

1. How and when exactly did Gray fall in love with Charlie?

2. How the HELL could Charlie remember singing on stage, but NOT remember kissing Gray?

3. What process did Gray go through to realize that she was gay?

4. How did everyone around her know she was gay, but she never had the faintest idea?

Also, the film should have explored her ultimate relationship with Julia more. I mean, literally, within 10 mins. of conversation, they went home together. I know that happens in real life, of course, but the audience deserved more time to be spent on this scene.

But, one thing kept me interested throughout--Heather Graham. I've always thought she was very under-rated. She is great as Gray (quirks and all), and it doesn't hurt that at age 37, Graham still is just go'geous! Cavanagh was lovable as Sam, but Moynahan was a little vacant for me as Charlie.

I'd recommend seeing "Gray Matters," as long as you don't go into it expecting something profound. It's a cute little movie that could have been so much more.

My grade: C

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