The British-made Bedrooms and Hallways has all the makings of a break-out hit, even with straight audiences. The second feature from director Rose Troche, this comedy of gay male manners is radically different from her 1993 no-budget debut film about New York lesbian bohemia, Go Fish. And Troche more than rises to the challenge, marking her as someone sure to crop up on studio shortlists of directors of sophisticated adult fare. The clever script by Robert Farrar centers around a shy, just-turned-30 gay guy named Leo (Kevin McKidd) who joins a men's consciousness-raising group to brighten up his life, only to find himself having an affair with one of its otherwise straight members (James Purefoy). Complications ensue when Leo discovers his new amour is the ex-lover of an old female friend (Jennifer Ehle). And when he begins to spark with her, that, as they say on the sitcoms, is where the fun really starts. The principal trio is fine, and Simon Callow (of Merchant-Ivory fame) is quite funny as the painfully sincere men's group leader. But the best scenes belong to Tom Hollander (Saffron's horrid fiancé on Absolutely Fabulous) as Leo's sharp-tongued roommate who's having an affair with a real estate agent (Hugo Weaving of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) who loves nothing better than to stage trysts in the houses he's selling.
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