In the film In and Out Howard (Kevin Kline) is a teacher, engaged to Emily (Joan Cusack). The town is excited about Howard’s former student, Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon), receiving a nomination as Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his portrayal of a gay soldier in the war film ‘To Serve and Protect’. Cameron wins the award, and in his acceptance speech, thanks Howard for his inspiration by adding: “and he’s gay!”
Howard’s fiancé, family, friends and colleagues are shocked. He tries to reassure everyone that he is heterosexual. The following day reporters turn up harassing him for interviews. Howard’s boss, Principal Halliwell (Bob Newhart) is not happy with the media attention.
After the fuss dies down, an openly gay reporter, Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck) decides to stay and cover Howard and Emily’s wedding. Howard decides to sleep with Emily to prove that he is straight; however he cannot go through with it.
Peter meets Howard and tells him he is in denial. When Howard maintains that he is not gay, Peter kisses him and Howard responds. Peter insists he won’t stop Howard marrying Emily but that Howard is hiding his true self. Howard outs himself and is fired from his job. Despite this, Howard attends his students’ graduation. When his students learn he was fired for being gay, they all claim to be gay too, in support of Howard. Howard’s family, friends and acquaintances all do the same.
Cameron Drake learns what has happened to Howard and returns to support him, giving him his Oscar as a gift.
“As a sharky, gay TV journalist investigating the story, Tom Selleck charms by playing in contrast to his own determinedly hetero persona.”
— Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
“This is a rare, “feel good” motion picture that doesn’t insult our intelligence while making its play for our emotions.”
— James Berardinelli, ReelViews
“Even if the movie is not a work of comic – or philosophical – genius, its existence does foretell of tolerance gaining a foothold in a largely intolerant world.”
— Barbara Shulgasser, San Francisco Examiner
“An incredible cast, brilliant comedy script and to see Tom Selleck play a gay role, well that just made my childhood memories all that much better!”
— Alexander Ryll, Gay Essential
Did You Know?
The Oscar used in the film In and Out belongs to Kevin Kline, which he won for Best Supporting Actor in A Fish Called Wanda. Cameron Drake’s acceptance speech in the film is actually based on Tom Hank’s real-life acceptance speech at the Academy Awards where he received his Oscar for Philadelphia. Review our Gay Themed Films Here