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Case Number 23624: Small Claims Court

Buy Eating Out: The Open Weekend at Amazon

Eating Out: The Open Weekend

Ariztical Entertainment // 2011 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // April 5th, 2012

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge Tom Becker doesn't think he'll be eating anywhere any time soon.

The Charge

"Oh my god, a gay guy's acting slutty…call TMZ!"

The Case

Kind of a gay late-night Cinemax feature with Will & Grace jokes rejiggered for 2011, Eating Out: The Open Weekend is the fifth in a series of Eating Out movies that started with…Eating Out in 2004.

I don't know much about the Eating Out franchise; I wasn't even aware that it was a franchise until I started doing some research for this review. Near as I can figure, the first EO played festivals and had a limited theatrical release before going to DVD. The second installment seems to have followed the same path. At some point, gay cable station LOGO seems to have gotten involved, and (heavily) edited versions of the films, in some cases premiering them before the Unrated DVDs were released, which would make them made-for-TV movies that are made not to be shown on TV.

In any event, we're at number five, and the guys here have some tangential connection to the guys in the first installment and more concrete connections to each other over the past three installments.

Eating Out: The Open Weekend gives us Zack (Chris Salvatore) and his new boyfriend, Benji (Aaron Milo), who are off for a weekend at a gay resort (a "gaycation"). Zack wants to be monogamous, Benji wants to sample about, thus the "Open Weekend" of the title.

Also at the resort is Casey (Daniel Skelton), who evidently dated and then broke up with Zack in the previous installments. Casey pretends that the hunky Peter (Michael Vara) is his new boyfriend to avoid complications with Zack and his new boyfriend.

And everyone shoots pithy one-liners, gets naked, and has sex.

That's really pretty much it. While late-20th Century Queer Cinema was giving us the likes of Bruce LaBruce, Todd Haynes, and Gregg Araki, 21st Century Queer Cinema seems to have a different route entirely: the Strip-n-Quip. This is just the homosexual equivalent of a heterosexual raunch-com. If you could digitally replace a couple of the guys with younger versions of Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra, you'd have a standard-issue, badly reviewed straight sex movie—they'd barely have to change the dialogue.

Not being a gay guy in my 20s, I'm really not the target audience, though references to The Jersey Shore, Glee, and online sex sites are generic enough. The sex scenes often look less like actual sex than something you'd see at a Cirque du Soleil kegger. Except for Zack—who incongruously sports chest hair—and Casey—who's skinny and not buff—the guys are all interchangeably attractive, to the point that it's almost impossible to pick one of the main actors out in a crowd scene.

Everyone and everything is defined by sex—I have no idea if any of these people are employed, have families, or have any hobbies that can be done vertically and in public. There's a sense that this is supposed to be zanier than it comes across—one character secretly has a tail, for instance—but it's really pretty run of the mill. I'm sure that the appeal of these films is the soft-core sex, but does everyone have to be so vapid? Are gay guys in their 20s really incapable of identifying George Michael but able to appreciate a reference to Marmaduke?

The disc sports a clean, TV-looking transfer and perfectly audio. Besides trailers, there's a short "Behind the Scenes" featurette in which one of the actors comes out as straight.

The Verdict

Hey, if straight people can have crappy, low budget, direct-to-home-video sex comedies, gay people can have them too. I'm guessing that fans of the Eating Out series will be thrilled with Eating Out: The Open Weekend. I wasn't, but what the hell do I know?

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 65

Perp Profile

Studio: Ariztical Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• None
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Erotic
• Gay
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette
• Trailer


• IMDb

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