NY Times Review by Jeannette Catsoulis

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in A.O.B.S. Reviews, Reviews


“A Sexual Orientation Orientation

Professional and sexual identities are up for grabs in “The Art of Being Straight,” an unpretentious dramedy of postcollege confusion.

Set among a group of 20-something Angelenos grappling with bottom-rung jobs and starter apartments, the movie centers on Jon (Jesse Rosen, who also writes and directs), an advertising agency assistant with a sweet face and a lady-killer reputation. His looks attract the not-so-subtle attentions of his new boss, Paul (Johnny Ray Rodriguez); his past elicits the admiration of his college buddies, whose fondness for labeling all lame behavior “gay” suddenly isn’t so amusing.

Smart without being smart-alecky, Mr. Rosen’s writing avoids the aggressive cleverness and gummy politics of many similarly themed movies, focusing instead on realistic dialogue and low-key interaction. When Maddy (a delightful Rachel Castillo) takes a break from her girlfriend to wander into the arms of her laid-back neighbor (Pete Scherer), her response to his request for a condom (“I’m a lesbian”) is delivered so naturally that you can almost hear the “duh.”

Fluidly shot by Aaron Torres — whose images, like the movie, never try too hard to impress — “The Art of Being Straight” is nevertheless emphatic in its insistence that orientation, like career, sometimes needs figuring out. Bi-curious or just bi-confused, Jon and Maddy are doing just that.”