Based on a short film of the same name by writer-director Stewart
Wade, COFFEE DATE is an amusing twist on the somewhat tired
genre of romantic comedy, although it really is more of a buddy movie.
Todd (Peter Bray in his first major leading role) is a computer
programmer going through a bad patch. His two-year marriage has
recently ended and he's still struggling with its after-effects. Although
he harbors a crush on fellow office worker Melissa (Deborah Gibson),
his social life is in a slump. So when his freeloading brother Barry
(Jonathan Silverman) creates an online dating profile for him, Todd
goes along with it. As the film opens, he's struck up an email relationship
with Kelly and looks forward to meeting her.
Arriving at a local coffee shop, Todd doesn't quite realize that
something is amiss: the place is predominantly patronized by gays
and lesbians. While waiting, he strikes up a conversation with a guy who
is also waiting for his date to arrive, and they discover a mutual affinity
for movies, among other things in common. It soon dawns on them
that they are waiting for one another. While Todd expected Kelly to be
a female, in fact, Kelly is a man (played by Wilson Cruz). Despite their
disappointment, but because there is common ground, the two strike
up a friendship. Deciding to play a joke on his brother, Todd brings
Kelly home. The next morning Barry flees in a panic and calls their
mother (Sally Kirkland) who arrives to take charge of the problem.
Through a series of coincidences, Todd and Kelly are spotted
out together by the office gossip Clayton (Jason Stuart) and soon
his co-workers as well as his family are convinced that Todd is gay.
After a while, Todd himself starts to wonder if indeed he may be
homosexual. And therein lie the major complications of this charming
The actors work well together with Cruz delivering a nuanced turn
as Kelly and Bray offering a strong turn as the confused Todd. The
supporting cast from Kirkland to Silverman to Gibson all do yeoman
work. Writer-director Stewart Wade has created three-dimensional
characters, and spun an amusing and believable story. While the
denouement may be a little disappointing to some, it makes perfect
sense in the world of the film. Call a friend and make plans to see
Rating: B +
|© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.