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Make it So, Number One!
Afraid of contracting AIDS, a young gay man living in New York decides that the only solution is to remove sex from his life. Angry at the world, he also rejects love and tries to channel all of his energy into working. His friends are naturally shocked, and encourage him to admit defeat. Gradually he learns from others that nothing is permanent, and that only by conquering his fears will he find happiness.
Steven Weber (from the television sitcom Wings) is Jeffrey. With absolutely no qualms about his love life, he talks directly to the camera in a breezy manner. Shortly after making his resolution, Jeff meets Steve (played by Michael T. Weiss) at the local gym. Though seriously tempted to break his vow, Jeff is terrified when Steve reveals his HIV status. Filled with questions and doubts, Jeff turns to his parents and a priest for some unconventional advice. Patrick Stewart is the flamboyant interior designer Sterling. Blessed with an eye for colour and fabric, he also sees the error of Jeff's ways and doesn't hesitate to tell him. Very much in love with his partner Darius, a dancer in Cats, they show Jeff that life with AIDS isn't all that bad. A great comic vehicle for Stewart, he is able to shed his serious role of Captain Picard. The actor's droll comebacks are consistently on target and the timing is never off, but Stewart often appears stiff in expressing his true emotions.
Originally an off-Broadway play by Paul Rudnick, Jeffrey takes a different approach to homosexuality than Philadelphia or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The emphasis is more on fulfillment than fighting intolerance. These characters never seem to lose track of who they are or what they want, and can even poke fun at themselves.
The film's soundtrack was written and performed by Steve Endelmen and Bob Russell. Several Gershwin tunes are also part of the score, which compliments and builds on the smoothly flowing narrative. In regards to settings, everything is beautifully decorated along the lines of Better Homes and Gardens. The characters, too, look like they've stepped from a fashion magazine.
Director Christopher Ashley seems to have had a lot of fun making this picture. Numerous surprise cameos are worked into the story, along with some truly unforgettable scenes. Entertaining and tightly written, Jeffrey is a hilarious comedy that draws outstanding performances from all the main actors. As Steve and Jeff lustily eye each other and come very close to making a match, we understand intimately their daily struggles with love, sex, pain, and death. Their battle with AIDS, however, is the hardest.