“I’m Not Gay” is the sort of film that, in striving to rather hard to be hip and cutting-edge funny, actually winds up feeling trite, overblown and full of stereotypes.
Writers/stars Adam Paul and Adam Silverstein are clearly a couple of mensches with their hearts and sense of humor in the right place. But ultimately, this 13-minute quickie goes for jokes that are way too broad, too predictable and potentially out of a bad Leslie Nielsen movie.
The plot centers on friends Jamie (Paul) and Robin (Silverstein). An old high school buddy of Jamie’s crosses path with them at a park, misconstrues them as a gay couple, and congratulates Jamie on finally coming out of the closet. Jamie and Robin, who are not homosexual, insist as much to said friend until a fist fight finally ensues. All parties wind up injured and a trial occurs, in which Jamie and Robin’s dilemma only heightens as they become the poster boys for gay tolerance, and the gay community adopts them as their favorite queer couple. From there, hijinks ensure, girlfriends are lost, and in very “Three’s Company”-esque scenarios, attempts to reinforce their masculinity only backfire and fuel the idea of their man-love more.
Now, my intention is not to be cruel here. There are moments (like when a woman with whom Robin is flirting sees he and Jamie on a magazine cover and leaves in a huff, and the old man behind the magazine winks at Robin), but most of the gags fall flat because their intention is to be subversive and satirize people who quibble over differences in sexual preference, when, simply put, the script isn’t that smart and the performances are too cartoonish. As a result, they unintentionally create their own set of hollow caricatures and fail to really cut to the core of prejudicial issues through humor.
It is, however, fun to play “Spot the ‘That Guy’” throughout the short, as numerous character actors appear, leading one to wonder either: A) How Paul and Silverstein acquired their talents, or B) Just how sparse the acting gigs are for the perennially lower-billed.
Paul and Silverstein are, no doubt, the kind of guys that were always the funniest amongst their group of friends, and probably do have some genuinely good ideas up their sleeves. Once they tone it down just a bit and go for some nuance and/or subtly, there could be some real comedic sparks.