a film by Tony Vitale
1997 | 85 mins | US
›› Kiss Me, Guido
played like a sitcom, to end up as a sitcom
Kiss Me, Guido by Tony Vitale Opening yourself up to new experiences in life can be a liberating experience, as proud South Bronx hetero Frankie is set to discover in this well-played comedy from writer and director Tony Vitale.

For deciding itís about time that he moved out of the family home, pizza shop employee and aspiring actor Frankie mistakenly takes a GWM / Gay White Male flat-share advertisement to mean a Guy With Money. Welcome then Frankie to Manhattan and the world of plays and gays and inparticular out and proud but straight acting actor Warren and his peroxide blond gay best friend Terry. But surely Frankie doesn't have a problem with that? Trouble is - he does.

Yet with no where to stay and with Warren in dire need of money for the back rent, a friendship of opposites is made. After all, they do have acting in common. Only when the play courtesy of Warren's ex turns out to be Fire in the Hole - and yes you read the title right, the question is not so much whether Warren can coach his new found friend for the part, but whether Frankie can bring himself to kiss another man on stage in front of his Mamma Mia of a family? After all, a kiss is just a kiss - isn't it?

Kiss Me, Guido by Tony Vitale As Vitale's debut feature, this work played like a sitcom, only to end up as a sitcom, having been transformed into the basis of the CBS series Some of My Best Friends. Aired in February 2001, the series was cancelled the same year, having failed to deliver the success the network demanded. Such however is more indicative of the cut throat nature of the business, than a reflection on the film upon which it was based, given Anthony Barrile as Warren and Nick Scotti as Frankie are splendid in their contrasting roles. Only it is Craig Chester as saying it with pride Terry who steals the show. Unfortunately his screen time is all but a token gesture, with far too much cinematic development spent on the theatrical aspect of the piece and inparticular on attempts at comedy that frankly are at the expense of a stereotypical portrait of both the Italian-American and gay communities.

That the result is pure lightweight entertainment, odd couple style, goes without saying. And yet laced between seemingly endless sitcom-like situations, let alone stereotypes, is a feature that clearly had the potential to have been so much better. Then again, this film is in many ways unique, for in having been developed into an American sitcom, albeit a short-lived one, we have in effect two versions of the same story, although which one is superior is open to question, even if here Nick Scotti sure does make for some lush eye-candy!
starring: Anthony Barrile, Nick Scotti, Craig Chester, Anthony DeSando, Molly Price,
Domenick Lombardozzi, Christopher Lawford, Jennifer Esposito,
Frankie Dellarosa, Tony Ray Rossi
cameo appearance by Tony Vitale as Guido #1
Copyright 2004 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #038
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