The Mostly Unfabulous Life of Ethan Green is based on a comic strip that is so widely read that I’ve never even heard of it. Judging from the sample strips I found, you can see that a film version actually does have potential to be somewhat interesting. But the film ends up having the depth of, well, a weekly comic, with plenty of one-liners and hilarious moments that end up falling flat on the big screen. Where is a laugh track when you need one?
Ethan Green (Daniel Letterle, from Camp) is your typical cinematic gay-boy. He is 20-something, white, very very pretty, and only seems to worry about his sex life rather than, you know, going to work to pay rent. Speaking of paying rent, Ethan is in a conundrum because he and his roommate Charlotte are about to be kicked out of their home. Well, it is kind of their home—it actually belongs to Ethan’s ex-boyfriend Leo (David Monahan, the only actor that redeems himself in this movie). Ethan agrees to “help” Leo (who now has a Log Cabin Republican boyfriend) sell the house by finding a real estate agent… but he purposely hires the worst agent in town to stall the sale.
In the meantime, Ethan is struggling with his relationship to a newly-out professional baseball player, and is lured by the seemingly irresistible charms of a 19-year-old real estate agent assistant named Punch. (It is easy to see how Punch got his name, considering that is your initial reaction to his smug puss.) There is also a flaming ex of Ethan’s living with his gay-embracing mom (Meredith Baxter!), plus for comic relief, a couple of middle-aged queens that call themselves The Hat Sisters (heeelarious in their matching muumuus and ridiculous headwear! tee-hee.) Can you hear my eyeballs roll?
The actors aren’t entirely to blame. As I said before, David Monahan is sympathetic as the ex, who works in a bookstore but still owns a house in LA (!!!), and even Daniel Letterle isn’t godawful (maybe a little bland, but not awful). But the script is full of cliches and bad one-liners. Attempts at comedy fall with a thunk and roll across the floor. Blank spaces where laughter is supposed to fill the room end up just being awkward silences. And if you can’t predict the end after the first five minutes of the movie, well, then you’ve never seen a romantic comedy (gay or not). If Ethan Green’s life is mostly unfabulous, well then his movie is, too.