How do you spell disaster? D-A-T-I-N-G! Eric Orner’s wacky comic strip about a twentysomething gay boy on a frustrating search for love springs to life in this laugh-a-minute romantic comedy
Adapting comic strips into live-action cinema can be a difficult transformation, but The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green succeeds where many others fail. Taking the hit underground episodic comic strip and shaping it into a feature-length plot with funny dialogue and comedic situations, the film is a real triumph for screenwriter David Vernon. But the heart of Ethan Green is the wonderfully charming cast. Nebbishly sexy David Monahan is Ethan’s ex Leo, an uptight bookseller who is about to marry a pompous gay Republican played with buffoonish charm by Scott Atkinson. Ethan’s saucy lesbian roommate Shanola Hampton finds love with wacko real estate agent Rebecca Lowman. All the while Ethan seeks romantic advice from his energetic mother (the criminally underused Meredith Baxter) and the wise couple of lovers known affectionately as “The Hat Sisters,” played by well-known character actors Joel Brooks and Richard Riehle. But this would all mean nothing if the twentysomething Ethan weren’t so damn lovable. Daniel Letterle (the straight, guitar-playing heartbreaker from Camp) captures the confusion, intelligence, tenderness and sincere goofiness of Eric Orner’s creation Ethan Green.
By turns maddeningly obtuse and then downright sexy, Letterle will have you sighing with exasperation and then swooning like you had a childish crush. Kitschy and fun, Ethan Green is a sure bet for a good time – and a film that might just make your own love life actually look easy.