Screening this Tuesday as a benefit for the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the quirky love story centers on the seemingly mismatched pair Tom and Eli as they attempt to relinquish their emotional baggage (Tom's a recovering alcoholic and Eli's a simmering neurotic) and get together. "I sort of set out to write When Harry Met Larry," laughs Bucatinsky, referring to When Harry Met Sally, the frothy 1989 comedy starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Actually the script, Bucatinsky's feature-writing debut, began its life as a two-character one-act play involving a man and a woman. He expanded it by replacing the female character with a male and then added concerned friends, alcoholic parents, therapist parents, zany props such as the "feel wheel," and arguments over films as disparate as Gone with the Wind and In and Out. In addition to Bucatinsky, who also stars as Eli, the strong cast includes Richard Ruccolo (Two Guys and a Girl), Sasha Alexander, and Adam Goldberg. A host of major stars such as Andrea Martin, Lisa Kudrow, and Christina Ricci provide cameos. One mildly shocking scene involves elderly actress Doris Roberts, known as the meddlesome grandma on TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.
Although Bucatinsky succeeded in creating a very amusing movie, he'd rather not be confined to the realm of films that deal only with gay issues. "I prefer to tell stories about things that are outside of the particular sexual orientation, or religion, or age, or race of the character unless its about the plight of that," he says. "There's more and more movies at gay and lesbian film festivals and in the mainstream, where characters just happen to be gay or just happen to be straight and it's sort of beside the point of the story. That's what I was hoping to make."
And he did. All Over the Guy is primarily concerned with the leads reconciling their differences, which they do. However a continuing relationship between Tom and Eli is something about which even storyteller Bucatinsky is cryptic. "They're both equally screwed up," he notes, "but both ying and yang each other to death." Whether it will be till death do them part may be another story, something uncommon in the world of independent films -- a sequel.