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Friday, June 18, 2004

Eating Out 

The London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is on tour which, because Oxford is a small place, means I get to see just three or four of films from the main programme, all about men (a calculated decision that lesbians don't watch films in Oxford, perhaps?). Eating Out was one of these, a delightful if clich├ęd film, which rolls like an extended soap opera with increasingly bizarre (and often very funny) twists.

The film as a whole is thoroughly predictable - handsome straight boy fails to get girls, while his gay flatmate can only get girls, so he goes gay at a party, leading to several obvious uncomfortable situations. The whole film's made worth it, though, for a scene towards the end, where the flatmate invites his family to a dinner party, forcing him to 'come out' to them, while his ex-girlfriend sits at the other one end of the table, menacingly waving a rampant rabbit while the others all have a group hug.

Apart from the film itself, though, I found, as I do every year with this festival, that I enjoyed being in the company of other people who were obviously gay as much as anything else, even in simply watching a film together. I just felt comfortable and at home, a simple feeling which undermines any arguments that cinema-watching and theatre-going are isolating experiences, though I often treat them as such myself, being an avid solo cinema-goer. It often leads me to think that they should really show more sub-18-certificate films at these events, as I think I'm not the only one who found such experiences valuable long before I was able to come out to anyone else and when I was indeed quite young.

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