Gray Matters
is the worst thing to hit Manhattan since 9/11. Allegedly a 'postcard' to the city, the film is so spectacularly wrong-headed on every level that even its postcard-moments take on an obscene strangeness. I'm thinking in particular of a scene in which two of the main characters sit on an adjacent building-top and just stare at the Empire State building, as if it's some alien monolith that landed here eons ago and requires nightly worship sessions. The innumerable music-overlaid shots of the famous landmark that appear throughout the film, combined with the main character's personality quirks, lifted whole from Meg Ryan's character in When Harry Met Sally, tell us that first-time director Sue Kramer must be a charter member of the Nora Ephron fan club. She must also have some strange, uninformed ideas about her fellow human beings, considering that she's made a non-parodic film about a mid-30s woman who discovers -- as in, hand-over-mouth, 'Oh my God I can't believe I just discovered this' -- that she is homosexual.

We are told to believe that Heather Graham's character, Gray, has gone through her adult life never having an inkling of her true sexuality, until she happens to drunkenly kiss her brother's fiancee. I suppose that, in fairness, it's possible that Gray is as clueless about her own inner self as she is about others -- her hobbies include going to a Spanish restaurant and aping the accent of the Hispanic proprietor, as if she's fascinated by something she's never heard before in her life. And what about this brother of hers? He's the kind of guy, who, upon arriving in his hotel room in Vegas (maybe it was AC) for a quickie wedding, tips the bellhop and tells him "don't spend it all on the slot machines." I'm sure he's never heard that one before, pal. Actor Thomas Cavanagh gives a noticeably bad, almost incompetent performance as Sam. It seems as though he's straining to remember his lines in every scene -- either that or his face has undergone some horrific Botox accident and is now permanently frozen in a constipated expression.