You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jeffrey

The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn't throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was underscored by a touch of poignance and humanity. Onscreen, Jeffrey doesn't so much careen as amble, a pleasant stroll over flat terrain.

Cast:
Steven Weber Michael T. Weiss Irma St. Paule Patrick Stewart Robert Klein Christine Baranski

The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was underscored by a touch of poignance and humanity. Onscreen, Jeffrey doesn’t so much careen as amble, a pleasant stroll over flat terrain.

Christopher Ashley, who directed the original stage play and makes his movie debut here, doesn’t always seem comfortable with the medium. A more confident directorial hand might have resisted the film-school reliance on title cards, slow-motion glances and action frozen to allow character asides to the audience.

No sooner has he gone on the sexual wagon, than Jeffrey (Steven Weber) meets the man of his dreams, Steve (Michael T. Weiss), an amiable HIV-positive hunk whose initial gym workout with the hapless and horny Jeffrey is none-too-subtly infused with sexual tension. Jeffrey naturally runs scared, and much of the film follows the pursuit-rejection mating dance of the two men.

Along the episodic way, Jeffrey attends a socialite’s country-themed Hoedown for AIDS, a New Age revival meeting (with Sigourney Weaver as a Marianne Williamson clone), and New York’s gay pride parade, where Jeffrey encounters a supremely tacky New Jersey mother (Olympia Dukakis) marching in pride of her ‘pre-operative transsexual lesbian son.’ Nathan Lane appears briefly as a gay, sex-crazed Catholic priest.

Fortunately, the terrific ensemble cast, headed by a charming Weber, sees the picture through its lesser moments, and Rudnick’s barbs and one-liners score even when their contexts don’t.

Jeffrey

Production: Workin' Man/Orion. Director Christopher Ashley; Producer Mark Balsam, Mitchell Maxwell, Victoria Maxwell; Screenplay Paul Rudnick; Camera Jeffrey Tufano; Editor Cara Silverman; Music Stephen Endelman; Art Director Michael Johnston

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Steven Weber Michael T. Weiss Irma St. Paule Patrick Stewart Robert Klein Christine Baranski

More Film

  • ‘Los Perros’, ‘To Let’ win Kolkata

    ‘Los Perros’, ‘To Let’ win Kolkata Festival

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • 'Amal' Review: A Politically Charged Egyptian

    IDFA Film Review: 'Amal'

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • The Kids Are Given a Mission

    The Kids Are Given a Mission in New 'A Wrinkle In Time' Trailer

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • Justice League

    China Box Office: ‘Justice League’ Makes $52 Million Debut

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • 'Lady Bird,' 'Three Billboards' Fly High,

    'Lady Bird,' 'Three Billboards' Fly High, Netflix Mum on 'Mudbound' Results

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • get out Oscar Race

    'Get Out' and the Golden Globes: A Lesson Not to Laugh At

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

  • Justice League

    Box Office: 'Justice League' Scores $185 Million International Opening, Led by China

    The glittering blend of disparate elements that made Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey an Off Broadway gem several seasons back doesn’t throw off quite the same sparkle on the bigscreen. Onstage, the story of a 30-ish gay New Yorker who has sworn off sex careened from broad (and hilarious) sketch comedy to scissors-sharp camp wit and was […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content