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Gray Matters

This is the sort of movie that makes people shudder when they hear the term "chick-flick." In Gray Matters (2006) Heather Graham and Thomas Cavanaugh (TV's "Ed") play Gray and Sam, a brother and sister so fanatically close that people who meet them for the first time assume they're lovers. This makes them think that, hey, maybe they ought to date other people and spend less time together. And so the romantic misadventures begin. Sam meets and quickly woos a hot brunette named Charlie (Bridget Moynihan) but, on the eve of their quicky Vegas wedding, Charlie has a few too many adult beverages and starts kissing Gray. Suddenly, it all becomes crystal clear — Gray's gay! Somehow, she managed to make it into her 30's without ever even suspecting such a thing, and we're supposed to just go along for the ride and buy it as a premise. But it's only one stupid thing in a film that's an encyclopedia of idiocy, and everything that follows is stupid, insulting and absolutely ridiculous. There's Gray's oddball, New Age shrink (Sissy Spacek, who appear unaware of how embarrassed she should be) and there's Alan Cumming putting on drag so that he can accompany Gray to a lesbian bar, and there's Molly Shannon ... well, just being Molly Shannon, at her grating, desperate worst. Graham has shown that she has ample talent for comedy in the past, but here she shrugs, mugs and plays with her hair so much that one begins to suspect she has some sort of a neurological condition. Likewise, Cavanaugh falls back on his ostensibly adorable twinkly-eyed smirk so often in this movie that you may want to haul off and slap him. Interestingly, Gray Matters was treated like an indie film when it came out, despite it's obvious mainstream flavor — it played a few festivals and was given a tiny, limited release. But calling it an "indie film" doesn't put a golden shine on a turd this stinky. It's still a glorified made-for-TV movie, and not a very good one at that. Badly written, abominably directed and acted with all the sincerity of a middle-school play, there's absolutely nothing to recommend here.

Fox Home Video's DVD release offers a full-frame (1.33:1) transfer on Side A and an anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer on Side B. Say what you will about the quality of the movie itself, the video quality is excellent with rich, saturated colors. The DD 5.1 audio (English, with optional English or Spanish subtitles) is decent, but it's obvious that not much thought was put into fully utilizing the various channels (go figure.) On board is a "making-of" featurette and the theatrical trailer. Keep case.
—Dawn Taylor



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