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Outing Riley

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 73.09
Only 5 left in stock - order soon.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Nathan Fillion, Pete Jones Michael McDonald
  • Directors: Pete Jones
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 30 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000UX6NU8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,114 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

When regular guy Bobby (Pete Jones) tells his meat and potatoes Irish-Catholic brothers that he is gay, they don t believe him!

An Irish Catholic family learns that the youngest son is gay. Self-accepting Bobby Riley, a Chicago architect, tells us right off the bat he's gay. But he s never told his three brothers. Bobby s relationship with them is close but centers around sports, drinking beer, and playing practical jokes not discussing private lives. And besides, Bobby appears to have a girlfriend, but actually Carly is a lesbian pal who plays along when he needs a date. Only Bobby s sister knows the truth about his life.

But now, Bobby s parents are both dead, and his sister has begun pressuring Bobby to come out of the closet. Bobby and his live-in boyfriend Andy would like nothing more than to drop the charade Bobby maintains with his lesbian pal, so he finally gets up the courage to do it. But when Bobby does spill the beans, his brothers assume due to his regular-guy demeanor that he's kidding. Besides, they're meat and potatoes Irish-Catholic, so Bobby simply can't be gay. Eventually, they all must come to terms with this revelations and as it turns out, each brother also has been holding back family secrets. . .

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Format: DVD
First, I guess it's kinda cool that a straight guy made a film in which he plays the lead character, a gay man who is dealing with the death of his father and outing himself to his mainly homophobic family. But he just is not at all convincing as a gay man, it's poorly acted by the majority of the cast, and there are too many lame plot developments and gimmicky talk-to-the-camera moments that just p#$$ you off during pretty much the whole film. The worst scenes are:

1. the "gay" man and one of his pervy straight brothers spy on a teenage girl getting undressed, and actually crash through her skylight. I'm sorry, but no self-respecting gay man is going to do this to try to "pass" as straight... it's called breaking the law, it's creepy and we have more respect for women than this.

2. the "funny" syncronised swimming montage, complete with guys in speedos and bad disco music. This is such an offensive and bad stereotype I was actually dumbfounded that someone greenlighted this movie... come on... didn't he ask at least one gay man to read this script? I know there are queers in Hollywood... what's up with that?

The rest was nearly as bad and offensive... tragic and not in a good way. Avoid, avoid, avoid...
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This "Wolfe" film starring Pete Jones & directed by Pete Jones is really the kind of movie that should never have been made. It's redundant, uninformative and poorly acted. Do you really care about the "coming out" story of a thirty-something, Irish Catholic, Chicago suburbanite? I didn't think so. My guess is that Pete Jones somehow got the mistaken idea that his, somewhat drab, life should be committed to celluloid. Please pass on this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e8a6738) out of 5 stars 39 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e83d9fc) out of 5 stars A Straight Mans Take On Coming Out Feb. 17 2008
By Lerone Landis - Published on
Format: DVD
As common place as "coming out" plots are in Queer Cinema, the beauty of them is that no two tales of coming out are ever exactly alike. Just out on DVD this month comes a film that tackles the, often, trite theme in Outing Riley. Set in Chicago filled with beautiful shots of the windy city, Bobby Riley (Pete Jones) is an architect who appears to be your average Chicagoan guy who loves his beer, sports and his family --- a close nit bunch that includes 3 older brothers and his little sister.

The little sister, Maggie (Julie R. Pearl), is the principal piece that keeps the Riley family together now that both of their parents are deceased. Maggie stands alone in the family as the sole Riley family member who knows about Bobby's true sexual orientation and because of her unassuming yet pivotal role among the 5 siblings it was the most logical writing choice as the one who knows Bobby's "secret." Perhaps because of the choosing of a female character to harbor such surreptitious information, it was also a stereotypical writing choice. Far from originality, at one point Maggie even tells Bobby that she loved him like the sister she never had.

Stereotypes are abundant in Outing Riley, however and thankfully, Bobby's character was not...his brothers were! Talk about your typical misogynistic wanna be macho homophobic straight men. In addition to their womanizing ways Bobby's brothers were so juvenile you'd swear that these 3 very adult men (at least in age) were the modern day 3 Stooges. The brothers quickly grew tiresome but were crucial to understanding Bobby's predicament.

Such generalization of the brothers was clearly the impetus for Bobby's
extreme masquerade with his family, despite the fact that Bobby shares an apartment with his partner Andy (Michael McDonald) and as a result it is Maggie who eggs on and orchestrates Bobby's revelation. His façade included a beard and even participates in the silly "boys will be boys" antics of checking out chicks with his brothers. Predictably, Bobby's "straight" appearance and actions are not only deceiving; to his brothers it is down right deplorable when they learn that he is not straight.

Excluding the extreme, yet expected, response from the three brothers Outing Riley overall is neither heavy nor even close to a tear jerker. Instead Pete Jones, who stars as Bobby Riley, wrote and directed the movie, attempts to be comical and quirky while keeping the heart felt moments subtle and short. Even with a few fairly good laughs in Outing Riley, still missing was a genuine nuance of a gay sensibility. Such as when Bobby tells us that he knew he was gay when he "liked the sweet contrast of soft lips and bearded cheeks the first time I kissed my aunt rose!" Funny, indeed, but not something that a gay man would mark as a moment of sexual realization. Bobby's narrating went beyond the usual foretelling. Here, his unconventional complete character breakaway shots were partly peculiar, a little documentarish but mostly perplexing and interrupted the slightly interesting flow that the film had going for itself.

As a way to separate Riley as something of an anomaly amongst similar themed films Bobby tells us that his tale is a gay Chicago Irish Catholic story. In film, Bobby's story stands out, somewhat, only because of the context, a 30 something coming out as opposed to the usual late teen/early twenty something coming of age bracket that coming out plots is usually associated with. In reality, Outing Riley is anything but unique for most gays and lesbians are personally very familiar with the cultural war between the religious right vs gay and lesbian civil rights. However, with Bobby being gay and his eldest brother being a Catholic priest Outing Riley's clashing of two worlds within the same family gave the film a bit of an edge. Outing Riley may have fared a bit better if it had spent more time exploring this relationship between the polar opposites. Will blood trump the dichotomy within the Riley family? One of the few good writing choices in this film is that you will have to decide that question for yourself.

Riley is far from the worst or best gay movie you'll ever see but tepidly scores because it isn't a cookie cutter of a saturated narrative. Not to bad for a sophomore effort for Pete Jones (winner of the Project Greenlight competition sponsored by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck). Next time it might be wise to surround oneself with and /or consult with some actual GLBT folk before pen is put to paper.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e83f8d0) out of 5 stars Confessions and Sequelae Dec 22 2007
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: DVD
OUTING RILEY may feel a bit self serving, as though Bobby Riley, the main character of the film, is sitting in a Confessional Booth revealing his secret, and in fact that is certainly the case as the film was conceived, lived, written, directed and stars Pete Jones as Bobby. This may account for some of the awkward sense of some of the dialog: it is difficult to be up front about an issue with a history as embedded as the theme of this film. But despite these minor flaws, this little film has a heart of gold and a cast of actors who bring it to life in a good way.

Bobby Riley (Pete Jones) is an Irish Catholic closeted gay man living in Chicago with his partner Andy (Michael McDonald). Bobby is being pressured by Andy and by his informed sister Maggie (Julie Pearl) to come out to his family - a good Irish Catholic family of four brothers, a sister, and a dying father (Bob Riley). His facade with his brothers is a mime of voyeurism of 'chicks' and a beer drinking butch life. Each family member has a secret: Maggie can't hold a relationship and is unable to keep secrets; Connor (Stoney Westmoreland) is addicted to internet porn; Jack (Dev Kennedy) is a priest who has problems with the conflicts the church places on his own beliefs; Luke (the always outstanding Nathan Fillion) is a pothead. Once Maggie decides she must out Bobby, the brothers are conflicted: homophobia raises its ugly head despite the bonds of close family ties. How the family comes to grips with Bobby's being gay, individually and as a family, is the crux of the tale.

This is a fine cast (especially Fillion and Pearl) and the story rolls along at a fine pace. At times it feels 'dishonest' but that is in the script, not the acting. This is not a major film, but it just may be a helpful one to families and friends who are curious about the lifestyle of someone who has surprised them with a similar secret! Grady Harp, December 07
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e83fe10) out of 5 stars Nathan nathan nathan... Nov. 30 2007
By Jadecat - Published on
Format: DVD
Being the avid Nathan Fillion fan I found this on TV and Tivo'd it, not knowing what it was about or what to expect. It was a little racier than I expected in the language department and I was only going to watch it for Nathan, but I got hooked and enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It surely isn't a wholesome and educational film for the children to see, but probably a pretty realistic view of what coming out is like in some families. Well acted all around, and Amazon needs to put Nathans name in a more prominent position for this one, he is the one star going somewhere in this and the only actor I recognized. He is some kind of big darn hero.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e63a1ec) out of 5 stars Forced Comedy Elements Trivialize a Coming-Out Tale in a Chicago Irish Catholic Family Feb. 3 2008
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on
Format: DVD
I have to give credit to Pete Jones, who wrote, directed and starred in this low-budget 2004 indie, for having the temerity to make a coming-out film when he is apparently straight. And therein lies the rub since Jones doesn't really lend an informed perspective to his protagonist's trying situation. He plays Bobby Riley, a Chicago advertising account executive who happens to be gay and happily partnered. He also happens to come from a traditional Irish-Catholic family, a sister who knows he's gay and three brothers who don't. The movie is primarily about Bobby's struggle to come out to his brothers now that their father has just passed away and the time has come for their annual fishing trip together. While one can envision how Bobby's admission would lead to liberation and tolerance, Jones also superficially belabors Bobby's angst to the aggravating point of making me indifferent to his fate.

A lot of the problem I had with the movie is the predictable and often forced humor Jones employs to ingratiate the character to the viewer. In what strikes me as filmmaking laziness, he goes as far as breaking the fourth wall, speaking to the camera, and using freeze-frames to either provide thumbnail sketches of the principal characters or comment on the action. The set-up with the brothers is also pretty generic as they represent variations on the beer-guzzling stereotypes one would expect from a movie at least forty years older. Two are married - Luke is a pothead with twin daughters, and Connor is a John Sununu look-alike who surfs the Web for porn. Oldest brother Jack is a Catholic priest, which sets him up for the most challenging road toward acceptance. Once the key revelation occurs, the inevitable ramifications at least allow for the film's few honest moments, the most effective being Luke's angry voicemail message in response to what he sees as Bobby's betrayal.

In his acting debut, the cherubic Jones makes little impression as the bedeviled Bobby. Nathan Fillion, who would later play the smitten doctor in the late Adrienne Shelly's Waitress, fares the best among the actors portraying the brothers, and Michael McDonald of MADtv (not the singer) is surprisingly credible as Bobby's partner Andy. Julie Pearl is forced to play Bobby's sister Maggie as the nagging voice of conscience in order to facilitate the contrived plot conceit that proves disappointing toward the end. Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With) shows up in a cameo as a blowhard agency honcho trying to recruit Bobby believing him to be straight. I appreciate how Jones does not wrap everything up nicely at the end, although he sadly uses a stereotypical fantasy swimming number to get his point across. The much-delayed 2007 DVD features a commentary track from Jones, interviews and deleted scenes.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e63a2d0) out of 5 stars Coming out story made by straight people Aug. 9 2011
By Pitbulltje - Published on
Format: DVD
At first I was gonna give it 3 stars. But after I had read some other reviews (I didn't have a chance to watch additional comments on dvd), I stopped at 2.
Here's why:
- Coming out story is the base of the plot, innit? Instead of making the relation between Riley and Andy more real, we are treated with scenes full of naked boobs, naked women)...
- There is no chemistry between those two gays. P. Jones remains straight during the whole film.
- The coming out moment is so fake. Slides? Who came with such lame idea in plot?
- Instead of fighting with stereotypes, this film confirms 'em.
- Some of the scenes are way too long or out of place
- The type of jokes used in the plot is quite simple (farts? playing with dirty language? maybe good for teen comedy, but not for "mature" film)

Good coming out story? "BREAKFAST WITH SCOTT", "BALLS".
"Outing Riley" it just a poor story made by straight guys who thought they were funny...Shame.

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