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Surprisingly lighthearted and witty, Paul Rudnick'sJeffrey(based on hisoff-Broadway play) was one of the first films to tackle the AIDS crisis without patting itself on the back or offering everything up in a sobering movie-of-the-week scenario. The titular Jeffrey (Steven Weber) is a happy-go-lucky gay man who suddenly comes face to face with the fact that AIDS has turned sex into something "radioactive." Paranoid in the extreme, he vows to become celibate--at just about the same time that hunky Steve (The Pretender's Michael T. Weiss) saunters into his life, eyes twinkling and hormones raging. The only problem is that Steve, for all his muscles and charm, is HIV-positive, thus setting Jeffrey's deepest fears into motion. When it was written in 1995,Jeffreystruck a nerve in mining the fear that a number of gay men felt during the height of the AIDS crisis. Even just a few years later, though, Jeffrey's paranoia (what, he's never heard of condoms?) seems dated, and his behavior more self-damaging than self-aware--basically, he needs a slap upside the head as opposed to therapy. Still, Rudnick (who went on to pen the more mainstreamIn and Out) is never one to pass up a witty one-liner or an opportunity to poke fun at anyone, andJeffreynow stands as a hilarious, sometimes poignant portrait of gay single life and the perils of dating in a paranoid time. Weber's Jeffrey is simultaneously open to the possibilities of life and fearful to embrace them, and Weiss is, well... gorgeous and funny and sexy beyond belief. Still, it's Patrick Stewart, as Jeffrey's interior decorator best friend, who effortlessly steals the film with his cutting wit; in his mouth, Rudnick's lines are priceless gems. With a host of amazing cameos, including Sigourney Weaver as a conceited New Age maven, Kathy Najimy as her sad-sack follower, Christine Baranski as a high-society hostess for a roundup-themed charity dinner, and a top-form Nathan Lane as a gay priest who seems to have discovered the meaning of life--literally.--Mark Englehart
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CastDavid Thornton, Steven Weber, Michael T. Weiss, Peter Jacobson, Tom Cayler
DirectorChristopher Ashley
Screen WriterPaul Rudnick
DVD Release Date:  June 3, 2003
Runtime:  92 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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review by . December 26, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
"JEFFREY"    It Could Have Been Great      Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride    The message of "Jeffrey", the popular gay comedy is "Hate AIDS, Love life". But this wonderful play just did not make it from stage to screen. The jokes are here and some good acting but some reason "Jeffrey" the movie does not sparkle the way "Jeffrey" the off-Broadway smash did. I saw it in New York when Greg Louganis had taken over as Darius and it was …
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