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Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss
cast: Sean P. Hayes, Brad Rowe, Richard Ganoung, and Meredith Scott Lynn

director: Tommy O'Haver

89 minutes (15) 1998
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Tartan DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Billy (Sean P. Hayes) moved from being a lonely gay in Indiana to the big city of Los Angeles, where he works as a photographer. A fan of 1950s' Hollywood melodramas, he's tired of meaningless sexual encounters and is looking for true love. He thinks he's found it in Gabriel (Brad Rowe), a coffee-shop waiter. However, Gabriel is straight... or is he? As Billy recruits Gabriel for a photographic project, he begins to wonder...

The credits call Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss "a Tommy O'Haver trifle, and that is what it is. It's a slight, amusing story along familiar lines: of looking for love and finding it in the wrong places. Billy makes for a sympathetic hero and O'Haver shows an admirable sense of proportion by making this film run under 90 minutes. Among the supporting cast are the late Paul Bartel and Andy Warhol acolyte Holly Woodlawn.

The film is shot in the style of the 1950s' melodramas Billy idolises, with saturated colours and in the Scope format. The latter is a rarity for independents (usually for budgetary reasons) so it's nice to see O'Haver make good use of the format, sometimes using one of Billy's Polaroids in half of the screen with action continuing in the other. Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss is light entertainment: nothing groundbreaking but a perfectly pleasant way to spend an hour and a half.

Tartan's all-regions DVD has an anamorphic transfer in the ratio of 2.35:1, with a Dolby surround soundtrack. The only extra is the trailer.

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