He’s straight! He’s gay! They’re roommates! Crazy, right? But wait, there’s more. The straight guy’s Sicilian! I thought Kiss Me Guido would focus on their odd couple friendship. But focus is not the script’s strong suit. It gets distracted by the straight guy’s boisterous Sicilian family, the gay guy’s hostile landlady and a pretentious off-Broadway play. The “humor” comes from easy stereotypes about “macho” straight men and “effete” gay men. The film is dull and shapeless. That didn’t stop writer/director Tony Vitale from adapting it into a sitcom.
Here’s a spoiler filled recap.
What’s a GWM?
Scene One: Moving Day
FRANKIE (Straight Actor. Sicilian.): Your ad says GWM seeks roommate. Guy With Money?
WARREN (Gay Actor): Gay White Man.
FRANKIE: I can’t live with a gay! You like musicals and c*ck.
WARREN: I can’t live with a guido! You like gold chains and pizza.
RUDE LANDLADY: Shaddup! Neither of you can afford the rent alone.
(Frankie has an erotic dream about Warren. Then gay panics.)
Scene Two: Opportunity
DIRECTOR (Warren’s vain Ex-Boyfriend): I want you and your new boyfriend to star in my play.
FRANKIE: Don’t be hasty. I’m a great actor! Are you talkin’ to me? Ask your friends in the neighborhood about me. Third De Niro Quote!
Scene Three: Outdoor Rehearsal
WARREN: I didn’t realize it was a gay play.
FRANKIE: If you want to be an actor you’ll have to get used to gays.
(They rehearse a scene. Then hug. Two bigots mock them.)
WARREN: My last movie was a kickboxing film.
(Warren kickboxes the bigots, then hurts his ankle.)
Scene Four: Theater
WARREN: I can’t go on. Frankie should play the lead. This film’s really about him.
FRANKIE: But the lead has to kiss a guy! My family’s in the audience!
WARREN: Al Pacino kissed guys in two movies.
(Frankie does the play. It’s really bad. He’s afraid to kiss his co-star… the Director)
DIRECTOR: Kiss me guido.
(Frankie kisses him. His mother in the audience faints.)
Scene Five: After Party
(The Director picks a fight with Warren. Frankie kicks him.)
FRANKIE: I learned that from your kickboxing movie.
WARREN: We made the audience think we were going to kiss each other.
FRANKIE: That would be interesting if the film had spent any time on our friendship.
WARREN: A shame there were so many side characters and subplots. You’d think this was the pilot for a sitcom.
(Warren and Frankie wink at the audience.)
Some of My Best Friends (2001)
Here is a movie that was born to play on television.Roger Ebert
On February 28, 2001 Some of My Best Friends premiered on CBS. Danny Nucci and Jason Bateman took over the lead roles from Nick Scotti and Anthony Barrile. Alec Mapa played their sassy gay neighbor. The series failed to capture the success Will and Grace found on NBC. They filmed 7 episodes but only aired 5 before it was cancelled. I gave them a watch to see if Warren’s character had any agency. Alas no.
- Episode One: Frankie answers an ad for a “Guy With Money”, then realizes he’s moved in with a “Gay White Male.” Frankie briefly pretends he’s Warren’s boyfriend for the benefit of Warren’s ex. This is about the last we’ll hear of Warren’s love life.
- Episode Two: Warren pretends he’s straight for Frankie’s guy friends.
- Episode Three: Frankie gets jealous when Warren befriends Frankie’s girlfriend.
- Episode Four: Frankie thinks Warren stole his underwear. He didn’t. A lecherous old lady did.
- Episode Five: Frankie and Warren help a lost dog find its owner. Aww.
- Episode Six (unaired): Warren throws an anniversary party for Frankie’s parents. But he makes it too elaborate. Because gays are fussy.
- Episode Seven (unaired): Warren teaches Frankie’s mother a sex technique called “The Boomerang.” Frankie threatens to beat him up. “You turned my mother into a gay man!”
Warren never dates or pursues his acting career. He exists to serve Frankie and his circle. There’s not much to recommend beyond Alec Mapa’s jokes and Danny Nucci’s abs. Jason Bateman would snag a better role on Arrested Development two years later.