Normally, sequels don’t fare as great as the first film – especially when you recast one of the leads! However, there’s something about “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds” that actually makes it a better and more enjoyable film. Perhaps an improved budget and cinematographic work, perhaps it’s being able to flesh out the characters more in a sequel. Or perhaps, it’s because Phillip J. Bartell has come on board to direct and co-write, along with “Eating Out’s” Writer/Director Q. Allan Brocka. I can only speculate, but there is one thing on which I am certain – I enjoy the sequel better than the original!
Let’s dive in for seconds! – And again, pun fully intended!
Just like “Eating Out”, we start off with a sex scene! This time it’s a sexy surfer dude seducing the “straight” guy. At first the straight guy plays coy, but finally caves and admits that he’s straight – “mostly” – and they start to make out passionately. Suddenly, we hear a girl’s voice saying “Stop calling them breasts” Puzzled? Turns out Gwen (Emily Brooke Hands) is fantasising her boyfriend making out with a guy, while they make out. He finally admits that he’s a straight man and will never be gay – so she dumps him while claiming he’s a homophobe. (Yes, it’s a bit weird…) Gwen’s boyfriend isn’t the only one being dumped. Marc & Kyle (Jim Verraros & Brett Chukerman, respectively) are now over as Marc leaves Kyle – all because Kyle isn’t outgoing and sociable enough. Meanwhile, Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan) realises she’s tired of being used for sex and Gwen is tired of straight guy’s aversion to sucking dick. So they make truce and actually become friends. Enter Kyle, who complains about gay guys wanting to suck each other’s dicks. The three of them continue to bond while they head off to art class.
There, we meet sexy Troy (Marco Dapper) who’s the new nude male model for art class! And yes, we get our one gratuitous male frontal nudity shot which cause all of their jaws to drop. Suddenly, they all want him! After ambushing Troy after class, they persuade him to model for just the three of them – so they can “catch up on their classwork”. During this private session, they slowly weasel out Troy’s secrets. He eventually admits that he’s played around with girls – and guys. But he’s afraid of all the issues and complications with being gay and coming out, even suggesting that the group on campus, “Coming In” might be able to help him. The “ex-gays”, sneers Kyle when Gwen suddenly blurts out – “just like Kyle” Suddenly flamboyantly gay Kyle is now “straight”… and dating Tiffani! When Troy leaves to visit the head, Gwen reveals her plan: Kyle gets close to Troy, helps him sort out his gay confusion while building up the passion between them to the point it all erupts – “right down your throat”, or so states Tiffani who’s all for the plan!
Things get even crazier after Marc spies Troy standing around – and then watches his ex, Kyle, start chat with this hot hunk before they both head into a “Coming Out” meeting. Once Gwen fills Marc in on their plan regarding Troy, Marc joins in on the fun by posing with Troy nude for art class, eventually befriending Troy as a gay role model. Now there’s a sexual tug-of-war going on between Marc and Kyle over Troy, with Tiffani and Gwen on their respective sides; Troy gets tossed between them like a basketball. Adding to the chaos are the gay & lesbian members of the “Coming In” group under their straight laced leader, Jacob Buchanan with his goal to “stop the spread of faggotry” and “homo no more” slogans. But Jacob isn’t so “straight”…surprise! Things all erupt after Troy has a hot oral session with Marc… and then overhears Marc say how he can’t keep lying to Troy like Kyle. So Troy gets even with Kyle, persuading him to demonstrate the art of cunnilingus on Tiffani – just as Marc and Gwen walk in the door! Troy finally admits that he’s bisexual and thus, why he was so confused. Then all make up and decide to do something about Jacob. I’ll leave that for you to enjoy, but as with most rom-com’s, everyone ends up happy.
“Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds” is an improvement from the first entry, which didn’t score so high on my rating scale. But the sequel only fares slightly better. First off, the character of Marc has been recast. I actually enjoy Brett Chukerman better than Ryan Carnes. Both look great, and there’s a better chemistry between Brett and Jim Verraros – but recasting one of your leads isn’t always a great move. To make matters worse, they rewrote or ignored Marc’s character’s backstory; he was a jazz saxophone major in “Eating Out” but now he’s just another student who likes to work out and sleep around.
My other issue with this sequel is the script – it’s too complicated! (Something I realised when trying to write a “short” synopsis!) The key plot is trying to sort out Troy’s sexuality, which smartly involves Troy, Kyle, Marc, and Tiffani. We also have the underlying tension of Marc & Kyle’s breakup – in which Troy get’s thrust in between. (Literally!) But then there’s also a third plot regarding the “ex-gays” group, one that really doesn’t become key till the end. The trouble is that the storylines start off intertwined, running parallel to each other. But once Troy’s sexuality is answered, it feels like the conflict between Marc and Kyle finally gets resolved – except it doesn’t. Not quite yet. First, they all shift gears and work to out Jacob Buchanan, the closeted homosexual leading “Homo No More”. It just doesn’t quite jive smoothly, and each time I watch “Sloppy Seconds”, it stands out. I even wonder if part of this has to do with Phillip J. Bartell joining the production team.
But for the few issues I have with the recasting and script, there are more things I enjoy about “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds.” For one, while the plot has a couple of wonky bits, it’s also chock full of comedic gold! Every actor and actress has their moments and they all play off each other with great chemistry. But my favourite cheesy one-liners and witty remarks come from Gwen and Tiffani. “I just… I just want to hear “I love you” instead of “Take it, you tight, little snatch.”” cries Tiffani right off the bat – and it just gets better!
There’s also a greater depth to the characters in “Sloppy Seconds.” Tiffani is merely the slut next door in “Eating Out”, but now she’s still a slut – but one who realises that she wants something more than just random sex. We even see a tender side that fluffs out her character arc and makes her crucial to the entire ensemble rather than being comedic relief on the side. Gwen equally gets a softer, more fleshed out character despite still being involved in crazy schemes. Because the film is a sequel, we’ve already know some of our character’s backstories. But I honestly feel that Brocka was able to focus more on character development by having Bartell on board to direct this sequel.
Lastly, I cannot ignore the inclusion of Mink Stole as Kyle’s Aunt Helen. Stole, well-known from John Walters cult films, is a refreshing addition to the cast. She adds a quirky humour, evident right off the bat when she tries to console Kyle after he’s dumped by saying things like “There’s plenty of cocks in the henhouse!.” And takes us on a roller coaster, yo-yoing ride by first being excited that Kyle is actually straight – to being in tears by realising that her nephew is a fag, and she “wants my little fag back.”
All in all, “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds” is still a tad sloppy. (sorry!) But there’s also something extra that gives this sequel an extra notch above the first entry in the “Eating Out” Banquet. It’s definitely a rom-com that intends to shock and tease; but it will also make you chuckle, laugh out loud, and perhaps even smile warmly. Even if you weren’t a fan of “Eating Out”, I encourage you to give “Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds” a watch. If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy it!