Paul Rudnick’s screen adaptation of his Off-Broadway play, JEFFERY, is being billed as a romantic comedy. This trying-very-hard-to-be-mainstream, independent film version, directed by Obie winner Christopher Ashley, has some very funny moments, but in many ways, glosses over the ravages of AIDS. As a homosexual man drifting through a series of one night stands until he is overwhelmed with the fear of the AIDS virus, Jeffrey decides to become celibate. Immediately following that declaration, he meets Steve, the HIV positive Mr. Right. While Jeffrey spends the next 90 minutes running from Steve, the film takes the viewer through a series of Jeffrey’s sometimes humorous, sometimes crude daydream-like sketches, that range from sexaholic anonymous 12 step recovery meetings to a New Age televangelist hosting a talk show.
In addition to the homosexual worldview, the film contains an offensive portrayal of a heretical, blasphemous, homosexual Catholic priest and some other anti-Christian bigotry. Furthermore, although technically fine, the concept of JEFFERY as a film doesn’t seem to be particularly well executed. The constant sketches of Jeffrey’s daydreams, the characters talking directly to the camera and the one line gags, etc. combine to give the impression of a stage production rather than cinema. However, this movie will only alienate more people from the box office.
(Ho, Ab, LLL, V, SS, NN) Homosexual worldview with anti-Christian elements; 9 obscenities, 4 profanities & 19 vulgarities; brief violence during gang attack on a homosexual; homosexual priest making sexual advances in church, men in bed together kissing & implied intercourse; and, full male nudity but not frontal.