Jewish Journal

‘Over’ and Out

by Naomi Pfefferman

August 16, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Actor-writer Dan Bucatinsky calls his charming romantic comedy, "All Over the Guy," opening today in Los Angeles, his "'It just happens to be' movie."

In the film -- about mismatched gay lovers and their straight best friends -- three of four main characters just happen to be Jewish, two happen to be gay, but none fit stereotypes, he says.

Brett (Adam Goldberg) is a furniture designer who says "buttercup" instead of "yellow" -- but is straight. His lover, Jackie (Sasha Alexander), is a Jewish woman who's had a nose job, but doesn't visit the manicurist. The gay romantic lead, Eli, is Bucatinsky ("The Opposite of Sex"), a 30-something actor who is usually relegated to playing nerds and creeps. "I wanted to tweak all the familiar cliches," explains Bucatinsky, whose film includes cameos by his pals Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow.

His New York Jewish upbringing also defies stereotypes. His Argentinean émigré dad had the unlikely name of Julio Bucatinsky. His émigré mom, like Eli's, was a well-meaning if touchy-feely therapist who discussed private parts at the dinner table.

Bucatinsky began acting in temple Purim plays, continued at Vassar and eventually penned and starred in a sardonic comedy, "I Know You Are, But What am I?" -- about lovers who meet on a blind date. A couple years ago, he rewrote the play into "All Over the Guy," partly inspired by his own fear of blind dates. "For me, they're an opportunity to be axe-murdered," jokes the actor, who nevertheless met his longtime partner, "Opposite of Sex" director Don Roos, on a blind date.

Less scary was performing love scenes with his straight "Guy" co-star, Richard Ruccalo, who in real-life dates sexy actress Tiffani Thiessen. "Rich is so secure in his sexuality, he could totally throw himself into the role," Bucatinsky says.

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