Strand Releasing | Release Date: February 28, 2020
5.2
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johnsonm137Jun 27, 2020
"Straight Up" is a simply fantastic first feature from triple threat writer, director, and star James Sweeney. He stars as a sexually confused man who befriends an equally confused woman. However, there is nothing confusing about the"Straight Up" is a simply fantastic first feature from triple threat writer, director, and star James Sweeney. He stars as a sexually confused man who befriends an equally confused woman. However, there is nothing confusing about the chemistry between Sweeney and breakout star Katie Findlay. Their rapid-fire delivery is akin to Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in "It Happened One Night," if Clark Gable happened to be gay.

Sweeney's script is just so incredibly witty, but also has a great deal of heart. There is a scene (no spoilers) where he and Findlay both break down together that had me in tears. Sweeney plays a difficult character that in another actor's hands could be insufferable. But he manages to be effortlessly likable. The same goes for Findlay. The rest of the cast is aces as well, with James Scully as his gay best friend who has the hots for him and Tracie Thoms as his long-suffering therapist as standouts.

This was one of the great surprises of 2020. A screwball comedy at a time when it's needed more than ever. It will be exciting to see what Sweeney does next. It's a major compliment that he reminds me of the great Josh Thomas, who has two amazing TV shows under his belt ("Please Like Me" and "Everything's Gonna Be Okay"). But his voice is all his own.

Great, great film available on Netflix now.
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