'Guido' is not as funny as it thinks it is

September 26, 1997|By Rene Rodriguez | Rene Rodriguez,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

In "Kiss Me, Guido," a lunk-headed pizza maker named Frankie (Nick Scotti) answers a classified want ad from a GWM looking to share an apartment.

Frankie wants to follow his dream of becoming an actor in Manhattan, but he's also flat broke, so the ad seems particularly promising to him -- especially since he thinks "GWM" stands for "Guy With Money."

But GWM, of course, actually stands for "Gay White Male." The idea behind "Kiss Me, Guido" is that watching the homophobic Frankie and the homosexual Warren (Anthony Barrile) become roommates would spin off into all sorts of hilarious situations.

Writer-director Tony Vitale sets out to poke fun at stereotypes, but the movie feels curiously dated, as if it had been made 10 years ago and recently plucked out of some time capsule. The movie's spirited, low-budget energy can't make up for the script's staleness.

The sight of Warren's gay male friends wagging their tongues at the sight of the hunky Frankie isn't quite as uproarious as the filmmakers think it is; neither is a belabored subplot about one of Warren's sex-starved female neighbors, or scenes in which Warren turns Frankie on to the charms of "The Sound of Music." The movie is sporadically amusing but rarely more than that.

Most of "Kiss Me, Guido's" modest charms come from the actors, whose personalities make their characters more endearing than they should be. Scotti, a former singer turned actor, gets a lot of comic mileage out of his thick Italian accent, and Craig Chester, as one of Warren's more flamboyant friends, can do wonders with a carefully mannered look.

But "Kiss Me, Guido" is one of those movies that play better if you think of them as TV sitcom pilots. On the big screen, it's way out of its league.

'Kiss Me, Guido'

Starring Nick Scotti, Anthony Barrile, Anthony DeSando, Craig Chester and Molly Price

Directed by Tony Vitale

Released by Paramount Pictures

Rated R (vulgar language, adult themes)

Sun score: **

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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