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:: Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss

The traditional formula of a gay romantic comedy is worked here without encroaching into ambitious territory. It doesn’t offend the audience greatly because it wouldn’t attract a viewer who can’t handle an all-male lip service. Billy Collier (Sean P. Hayes) is the central character and the narrator of the story. He is a homosexual, an unemployed photographer, a film buff, and a nice guy to those around him. His best friend, Perry (Richard Ganoung), is also gay but Billy’s roommate Georgiana (Meredith Scott Lynn) is heterosexual. Billy is looking for Mr Right and sees an opportunity with Gabriel (Brad Rowe), a model that Billy has hired for a photo shoot to re-create screen kisses. However, Gabriel says he has a girlfriend. Therefore, Billy has a job on his hands to win him over.
The question that remains throughout the film is whether Gabriel’s sexual preferences will change. It’s all a mystery and the director provides a surprising conclusion. The characters are generally likeable amidst the mood of selfishness and insensitivity. Perry, for example, funds Billy’s photo shoots and gives him an opportunity. Yet, Billy doesn’t show much gratitude, and seems hung up in his own negativity. There are some clever moments, particularly when Billy daydreams about Gabriel in the classic cinema style of being dressed in tails, white tie, and with an orchestra. It’s a rare romance and typical of Billy’s obsession with the golden age of Hollywood. The performances are quite strong with Sean P. Hayes’ depiction of Billy as admirable, whilst Brad Rowe provides the boyish good looks for the sexually confused Gabriel. Meredith Scott Lynn spices up the second half of the film. The script is well endowed with humour and has intelligence amongst the child-like glee. Generally, Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss works well as a tongue-in-cheek film, without revelling in the sexual preferences and it doesn’t degenerate into an ordinary melodrama. It’s honest, unpretentious and a successful low-budget gay-themed romance.