This first entry in the “Eating Out” saga is shocking, comical, and enjoyable – but it’s also my least favourite film of the series. The concept for the script is great and rather new at the time – the straight guy “turns” gay in order to land the girl of his dreams, which results in a lot of farcical situations which none of them realised would happen. Unfortunately the film is lacking cinematographically, which brings my overall rating down. It’s worth a watch, especially if you’re keen to watch the entire series.
Let’s dive in! – And yes, pun intended!
Synopsis of “Eating Out”
This perverted sexual adventures starts off with a bang – literally! Tiffani van der Sloot (Rebekah Kochan) answers the door for telephone repairman, Caleb (Scott Lunsford) to fix the phone in her boudoir – but the phone is working. Caleb quickly realises that she called him in hopes to have sex, so he forces himself on her, except it’s not the greatest and in the very quick end, they both fake orgasms. Turns out, they’ve been dating for a few weeks and Tiffani loves to role-play! But Caleb is too nice and didn’t even play with her tits (covered by a pink fuzzy bra) – so she dumps him while muttering “I’m not a slot machine.” And the tone for the entire film is set.
Caleb returns home dejected, complaining to his gay roommate and best friend Kyle (Jim Verraros) about how easy it must be for gay guys to get laid – much easier than it is for straight guys. Kyle quickly counters back that it’s not, but admits that after he came out, he could’ve slept with any girl in their high school. Caleb is leery, but ponders if it could work. Later that night at a college party, Caleb sees Gwen screaming and kicking out her now ex-boyfriend who just admitted that he’s now gay; that Gwen must’ve turned him gay. It’s love at first sight, paralleled by Kyle’s crush on Gwen’s gay best friend Marc (Ryan Carnes) who comes running to Gwen’s aide. Except Gwen has no interest in Caleb – until Kyle mentions that Caleb is gay! Suddenly Gwen’s turns from bitchy to friendly, and pushes Caleb right towards Marc. Now Caleb has a date with Marc, and Kyle is mad! Caleb doesn’t want to go through with the date at all because he’s straight, but acknowledges that Gwen is now interested in him. Kyle realises that this actually might work out for both of them; Caleb goes on a date with Marc, realises he’s straight and gets Gwen, while Kyle can move in on Marc. “It’s parfait!”
Skip ahead to the date, starting off with an awkward convo between Caleb and Gwen where Caleb admits that this’ll be his first time with a guy before admitting that he hasn’t slept with a chick either. Gwen is now intrigued – she wants to sleep with Caleb! The date ends up with the two guys “watching a movie” together, but Caleb isn’t privy to the obvious sexual advances from Marc. When Gwen calls, she realises the problem and while on the phone with Caleb, talks Caleb into asking Marc to “make me feel good” aka a blowjob. This leaves Caleb confused because he enjoyed it, and while on the way home, Gwen flagged Caleb over and ends up having sex with him! Now Kyle pissed off at Caleb, and everything is a mess. Caleb decides to invite both Gwen and Marc over and explain the entire situation and hope for the best. But Kyle adds his own twist, he invites Caleb’s parents! The ensuing debacle is hysterical and shows how far Caleb will go to try and get the girl, especially when Tiffani shows up unexpected. But in the end, Caleb gets Gwen and Marc admits that he’s had a crush on Kyle. Happy endings all around!
The Good & Not-So-Good
While I have not rated “Eating Out” very high, there are few things that I feel stand out as good. The script itself is jam packed with comedic jokes and one-liners. In fact, one of my favourite film quotes comes from this comedy of errors. After Joey admits to his girlfriend, Gwen, that he’s gay, he accosts her for not being positive about it. She retorts back: “I couldn’t be any more positive if I was gang raped in a repository bin at the needle exchange!” Add in some interesting characters such as the big boobed, sex-crazed Tiffani van der Sloot, or Caleb’s obnoxiously annoying younger sister, and the script is non-stop gags and laughs. The plot itself is also quite intriguing – a straight guy pretending to be gay just to have sex with a gay guy’s quirky female best friend, who’s male roommate has a crush on the other gay guy.
But the film has some troublesome items such as the script being full of many gay-specific jokes and references, and many that are rather insulting and stereotypical. The worst is probably from Caleb’s sister who says both “Fag, you’re it” and “No fag-backs” after Caleb is “outed” to his parents. While they quickly tell her that’s wrong and she admits it – the damage is done and the attempt at humour falls flat. Even in this farcical comedy, that joke and others like it cross the fine line between humorous and harmful. But while the script, which should be comic gold, has some issues, it’s made worse because the cast’s acting is flat. Nothing is wrong with the casting; they all fit their characters and often work well together in their scenes. But there’s a depth that’s missing. It’s missing from the script because its only focused on making jokes, and as such, even the actors are unable to breathe more life into their characters.
The worst thing about this film, and the key reason why it scores so low on my rating scale, is that cinematographically – it sucks! “Eating Out” comes across like a student film, not a professional production. Q. Allan Brocka is not only the writer, but the director. While the writer & director combo work successfully, this is not the case and it highlights the amateur feel; the end result is something that is lacking, perhaps because of trying to do too much? Editorially, there’s a odd flow to the film creating some slow and awkward scenes. When the low budget and other poor cinematographic elements are added in, I have no choice to but to rate it a 0/1 star in this area.
I’ll freely admit that “Eating Out” is my least favourite film in the entire five film series. It’s not a bad film to watch – after all, it has one of my favourite quotes! – but I usually only watch it when I binge the entire series. I still recommend grabbing yourself a copy and giving it a go – though make sure it’s the full theatrical version if you want to see Caleb & Marc in full frontal nudity! If you can look past the film’s faults, it’s still a decent comedy!