I think I know why The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green didn't play in any theaters where I live--the marquees didn't have enough room for the name of the film. And that's too bad, because I enjoyed it.
Who can't relate to bad dates, run ins with exes, and one night stands that turn into relationships gone bad? Anyone with a history of dating should be able to get some laughs out of this movie.
This film, based on Eric Orner's comic strip, takes viewers on the ins and outs of dating Ethan Green, as well as peeks at the lives of everyone peripherally involved in his life, including his lover(s), roommate, exes, mother and friends.
With a running length of 88 minutes, even those with short attentions spans should be able to hang on until the end, which provides an ending that, although expected, wraps up the story nicely.
Apart from a surprisingly humorous performance from Meredith Baxter (or, as I like to call her, Alex P. Keaton's mom), I was happy to see Richard Riehle, who had a hilarious turn in Office Space, as one half of a cross-dressing gay couple (the other half of which was actor Joel Brooks, who played Robbie for a handful of episodes on Six Feet Under). And Rebecca Lowman's turn as realtor Sunny Deal stole every scene she was in.
As for the title character, Ethan Green, actor Daniel Letterle did an o.k. job, but was a little too over the top for my taste. He seemed to portray the stereotypical gay guy, complete with the smirks, lispy voice and huge ego.
By far the best part of this movie was the sharp writing. From lines like, "We're born alone, we die alone. Everything else can be fixed with PhotoShop," to "We watch The O.C., then he goes upstairs and watches porn, and I go to bed. He kind of reminds me of your father," to "We've got to stop ordering out. What if there's a terrorist attack?" to "Gay republicans deserve to be happy...allright, some of them do," to "He's like the gay antichrist," the quips and smart retorts abound.
Presented in widescreen, the film did a barely adequate job in regards to picture quality. Some of the exterior daytime scenes were too bright and washed out, as well as any scenes that involved bright sun and interiors (basically, anything near a window in the daytime). Although it didn't hinder my understanding of what was happening, it wasn't pleasant to look at.
The movie was both good and bad. In some scenes with characters whispering while there was background noise, I could hear the dialogue fine. Then, in other scenes, particularly in the main character's house, the sound was akin to talking in a home devoid of furniture--you know, that echo-y sound. Then, the sound got better during interior scenes, and worse during outside shots. In short, the sound quality was all over the place and inconsistent.
The extras included five trailers, one of which was for this film. Three others, Guys & Balls (about a gay soccer team), Fixing Frank, and Summer Storm, all look promising. The last, Dantes Cove, looks like a bigger budget, less graphic Open Cam, which might not be saying much.
The alternate opening featured Reichen (from the Amazing Race) as Ethan's dream date. And the alternate opening with commentary had some good tidbits about Reichen.
The last extra is Ethan Green Through the Years With Artist Eric Orner, which explains the story behind the cartoon.
I recommend this movie as a rental, if only for the great one liners. I could see watching this movie after a bad breakup, or with a group of friends (gay or straight), and having a good laugh. It's sort of a Friends/Watch It/Singles/Sex and the City hybrid--that is, if all of those films centered around a group of gay men.
Juliet Farmer, aka writnkitten