Gray Matters Movie Review

The setup isn't bad. A man (Thomas Cavanagh) and woman (Heather Graham) start the film in a ballroom dance rehearsal space, performing a heavily-practiced number. Probably something for their wedding reception, right? They go on a quick jog together, then return home, pooped. Later, they're at a dinner party, sitting side by side. One guest asks how long they've been together. Gulp! They're not a couple, they're brother and sister! Oh snap!

Just when you think this is going to be a strange kind of incest comedy, the film soon turns into something else (a standard rom-com), as the pair runs into Charlie (Bridget Moynahan), walking her dog. Oh, she's such a great lady that Sam (Cavanagh) proposes that same night. And she accepts! It's off to Vegas where sis Gray (Graham) and Charlie room together for the night. Long story short: Gray kisses Charlie on the lips and suddenly realizes she is gay, explaining 20 years of boy trouble in one fell swoop.

Whoops! The film is now a lesbian-coming-out comedy. The whole brother/sister thing is pushed under the rug. It isn't long before Charlie is almost out of the picture altogether. Instead Gray hangs out with a cab driver (Alan Cumming) and visits a gay bar for the first time. It's saying something when Cumming appearing in drag is the highlight of the film.

Gray Matters goes from so-so to heart-crushingly bad over its hour and a half running time, chipping away at logic, comedy, and entertainment value as it delves more and more into the character we care about the least. Gray is a shallow, hyperactive spaz, an insecure New Yorker that's become one of cinema's biggest cliches in the last few years. Where the movie takes chances (Sissy Spacek as a therapist who only treats Gray in odd locations, like a bowling alley), they come off as gimmicks rather than entertainment.

Oddly enough, Cavanagh and Moynahan seem like a fun couple and might even merit a movie treatment. However their 10 minutes of screen time never really amounts to much. Instead we get a vapid Gray at her job, Gray atop the New Yorker building, Gray OCDing over her food order, Gray lusting after a girl at a hot dog stand. Gray's matters are pretty mundane, to tell you the truth.

DVD special features include a making-of featurette.


Cast & Crew

Director : Sue Kramer

Producer : Jill Footlick, John J. Hermansen, Sue Kramer


Gray Matters Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 2006


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