About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Studios Home
February 2007

GRAY MATTERS

By Nicole Schmuelian

GRAY MATTERS


Distributor: Yari Film Group
Director: Sue Kramer
Screenwriter: Sue Kramer
Cast: Heather Graham, Tom Cavanagh, Bridget Moynahan, Sissy Spacek, Alan Cumming, Saffron Burrows, Jane Krakowski
Rating: PG-13 (for language and sexual content)


 

   

Gray (Heather Graham) and her brother Sam (Tom Cavanagh) have the same interest in film from the 40’s, exercising, and as Gray soon comes to realize women. Gray falls in love with her brother’s girlfriend Charlie (Bridget Moynahan). Without being conscious of her feelings before towards the same sex, in this romantic comedy, Gray struggles to come to terms with her sexuality. The film is shot in New York but Sue Kramer the writer and director doesn’t offer a different perception or interpretation of the city.

Gray’s idiosyncratic habits and ditsyness make her confusion real. The chemistry between Tom Cavanagh who plays a surgeon and Heather Graham isn’t so impressive. Cavanagh’s doesn’t have the charisma or power that the big screen requires. Cavanagh’s character is lacking more depth. It’s one dimensional. On the other hand, the female characters are more impressive and energetic. The scene that Bridget and Heather have a dance sequence to the song “I won’t dance” from the film “Till the Clouds Role By” as it is playing on the television in the background is fun and exciting. Bridget is graceful and beautiful. Supporting actresses like Molly Shannon, who is hilarious with her absurdity and her unhinged kookiness is uncanny. Molly feeds off of Heather’s insecurities and gives the audience a few good laughs. It is interesting to see Sissy Spacek play a less serious role. Who would have known that Sissy can actually be funny or have such a dry sense of humor? Sissy is Heather’s shrink who is of bad guidance and holds counseling sessions doing different activities. Alan Cumming play a cab driver who befriends Gray during her time of uncertainty. You wish that Alan was in more scenes. He’s just that good in his scenes.

Sue Kramer puts a little twist on the romantic comedy formula which usually consists of boy meets girl, boy loses girl and then the two reunite and live happily ever after. Sue changes that with a female lead who may not be interested in the other sex like she always thought she was in the past. Sue plays it safe and tailors the film to a mainstream audience which is unfortunate because she could have pushed Gray’s sexual struggle to new and uncharted territory. This would have added more weight and depth to Heather’s character. The dialogue doesn’t have enough wit and loses its capacity with lazy execution. That slapstick banter isn’t slapstick at all. Overall the film was cute and if you want to see two beautiful girls hook up, or see a good candidate for best kiss, see Gray Matters.