#176: In & Out 2: Hollywood Howard

In many ways, the 90s was an interesting and exciting time for queer cinema. Directors such as Todd Haynes, Pedro Almodovar and Cheryl Dunye blazed a trail in the arthouse world. In terms of mainstream box office hits though, you could probably count the true crossover success stories on the fingers of one hand.

Released in 1997, In & Out was one of the notable successes, and it has very little do do with the New Queer Cinema movement of the time. Starring Kevin Kline as a closeted gay teacher inadvertently outed by a former student, it’s as mainstream and middlebrow as 90s comedies get.

Thankfully, it’s also very funny. Elements of the film have certainly aged poorly by today’s standards – it leans especially hard into fairly regressive stereotypes, the LGBT characters appear largely sexless, and are predominantly portrayed by straight actors. But it boasts an excellent cast, its heart is definitely in the right place and most of the jokes actually land.

Tune into this week’s podcast to hear our full reaction, including a scene stealing, Oscar-nominated comic turn from Joan Cusack, the sweet-smiling savagery of the late, great Debbie Reynolds, hilarious pot shots at Barbra Streisand and much more. As always, we also trade drinking games, read out some listener reviews and pitch some sequel ideas to drag this curious little time capsule into the out and proud 21st century.

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Next week, we’re digging into a notorious 90s flop from a screen icon we’ve surprisingly overlooked until now. Until then, happy listening and remember – f*ck Barbra Streisand!