In & Out is a 1997 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Oz and starring Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, Joan Cusack, Matt Dillon, Debbie Reynolds, Shalom Harlow, and Wilford Brimley. It is an original story by screenwriter Paul Rudnick. Joan Cusack was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
The film was inspired by Tom Hanks's tearful speech when he accepted his 1994 Oscar (for his role in Philadelphia), in which he mentioned his high-school drama coach Rawley Farnsworth, and his former classmate John Gilkerson, "two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with." The film became one of mainstream Hollywood's few attempts at a comedic "gay movie" of its era, and was widely noted at the time for a 12-second kiss between Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck.
Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline) is a well-liked English literature teacher, living a quiet life in the fictional town of Greenleaf, Indiana, with his fiancée and fellow teacher Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack), who recently lost 75 pounds. The town is filled with anticipation over the nomination of Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), Howard's former student, in the Best Actor category at the Academy Awards for his portrayal of a gay soldier in To Serve and Protect. Cameron does indeed win the award and, in his acceptance speech, thanks Howard, adding, "…and he's gay."
Howard's family, friends, students, co-workers and Emily are shocked; but that is nothing compared to Howard's own reaction of disbelief and indignation. He angrily reassures those who know him that he is [Heterosexual heterosexual]]. Reporters invade his hometown, harassing him for interviews, following the awards night telecast; and Howard is placed under the scrutiny of his boss, Principal Tom Halliwell (Bob Newhart), who is uncomfortable with the attention being brought to the school.
Although the other reporters leave after getting their story, one stays behind: on-camera entertainment reporter Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck), who wants to wait the week out so he can cover Howard's wedding to Emily. Howard continues to be harassed and dismayed by the changed attitudes of everyone around him, and decides that he must sleep with Emily in order to prove his heterosexuality. Howard finds he cannot go through with it due to his conflicting emotions and Emily's concern for his well-being. Howard crosses paths with Peter, who reveals he is gay and, trying to provide a helpful ear, narrates his own experience in coming out to his family. Howard insists that he is not gay, prompting Peter to kiss him. Although shocked, Howard reacts somewhat positively to the kiss.
Howard's final measure to restore his heterosexuality is the use of a self-help audio cassette, although that fails as well. During the wedding ceremony, Emily recites her vow without hesitation, but when Howard is prompted by the minister, he instead says, "I'm gay." The wedding is called off, and although Peter is proud of Howard, Howard is angry with himself for hurting Emily. Howard is fired from the school because of his outing.
Despite no longer being on the faculty, Howard attends the graduation ceremony to support his students. When one student who got into college—thanks to Howard's hard work—learns that he was dismissed for being gay, he and his classmates proclaim themselves to be gay as well, showing their support. Howard's family follows suit, as do his friends, and all the townsfolk assembled. Having learned of the ensuing media blitz while in Los Angeles, Cameron flies to his hometown with his supermodel girlfriend (Shalom Harlow) to support his former teacher. Although Howard does not win "Teacher of the Year", Cameron presents him with his Oscar.
Howard's wedding-crazy mother (Debbie Reynolds) finally gets a wedding—her own, when she and her husband (Wilford Brimley) renew their vows. Howard, Peter and the rest of the townsfolk attend the reception. Among the crowd are Emily and Cameron, who appear to have begun a relationship. Everyone dances to the Village People's song "Macho Man".
- Kevin Kline as Howard Brackett
- Tom Selleck as Peter Malloy
- Joan Cusack as Emily Montgomery
- Matt Dillon as Cameron Drake
- Debbie Reynolds as Bernice Brackett
- Wilford Brimley as Frank Brackett
- Gregory Jbara as Walter Brackett
- Shalom Harlow as Sonya
- Shawn Hatosy as Jack
- Zak Orth as Mike
- Bob Newhart as Tom Halliwell
- Lauren Ambrose as Vicky
- Alexandra Holden as Meredith
- Deborah Rush as Ava Blazer
- Lewis J. Stadlen as Edward Kenrow
- J. Smith-Cameron as Trina Paxton
- Kate McGregor-Stewart as Aunt Becky
- [Debra_Monk Debra Monk]] as Mrs. Lester
- Ernie Sabella as Aldo Hooper
- John Cunningham as the Voice on "Be a Man" Tape
- Gus Rogerson as Danny
- Dan Hedaya as a Military Attorney
- [Joseph_Maher Joseph Maher]] as Father Tim
- William Parry as Fred Mooney
- William Duell as Emmett Wilson
- Richard Woods as Revered Morgan
- Kevin Chamberlin as Carol Mickley
- Wally Dunn as Cousin Lenny
- Larry Clarke as Cousin Ernie
- June Squibb as Cousin Ellen
- Becky Ann Baker as Darlene
- Selma Blair as Cousin Linda
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