“Eating Out” is a small, tacky non-comedy about a hunky political science major named Caleb who follows the advice of his gay roommate Kyle to pretend to be gay in order to gain the romantic interest of Gwen, a girl who has the habit of attracting gay men. As luck would have it, the girl winds up matching up Caleb with her gay roommate Marc. If that’s not bad enough, Caleb’s hook-up with Marc irks Kyle, who has the hots for Marc. But Marc is infatuated with Caleb and doesn’t even know Kyle exists.
Writer-director Q. Allan Brocka paces “Eating Out” as low-keyed and lethargic, wrecking any chance of the film working as a farce. Rather than opt for comedy, Brocka keeps aiming for vulgarity spiced with name-calling and tiresome pop culture references. Imagine “Will and Grace” without the laughs (or the laugh track, to be honest) and you have some idea what to expect here.
It doesn’t help that too much of the action is framed in close-ups of Scott Lunsford as the faux-gay squirming in mild apprehension at the queer situations spiraling around him. While Lunsford is occasionally amusing in his telegraphing unease with widening eyes and a clenched jaw, the material is too weak for him to make any impact as a comic leading man.
How weak is the material? Consider these lines:
Kyle explaining the gay sartorial experience: “We’re not pirates, we just dress like them.”
From Gwen to Marc: “Go powder your nose – the powder that goes on your nose.”
From Gwen after throwing a temper tantrum: “I’m sorry I was a c**t-and-a-half.”
From Kyle to Caleb when he gets a phone call from an ex-girlfriend: “It’s for you, Blow-meo”
There is also another woman, a h***y freak who gets into role-play fantasies where blue collar men molest her with an oversized vibrator. She’s supposed to be comedy relief, but she offers neither comedy nor relief.
For all of the scatalogical language, tasteless situations (included a simulated b*****b and handjob, complete with squeaky sound effects) and rude commentary, the most offensive thing here is actually a cruel joke at the expense of Anne Frank, of all people. How very sad and very stupid.