Paul Rudnick’s hetero-friendly gay love story Jeffrey, adapted from his stage play, is about the funny, neurotic, articulate (that is to say, Rudnicky) aforenamed guy (Steven Weber from TV’s Wings) whose vow to swear off sex out of fear of AIDS is tested by his unquenchable interest in a nice, HIV-positive hunk (Michael T. Weiss). For advice, counsel, and mordant bon mots, he turns to a wise, older interior decorator (Patrick Stewart) and the designer’s pretty Cats-dancer boyfriend (Bryan Batt). Stewart steals the show with a beautiful, go-for-the-gusto performance, and the rest of the guys are nice enough (Weber does a good nervous smile). But the bright, clever shape of Rudnick’s theater piece is blurred and flattened in director Christopher Ashley’s translation to film.
As a consolation prize, there are some shiny, party-favor-size roles for Christine Baranski (a hoot as the socialite hostess of a fund-raising hoedown), Nathan Lane (a naughty priest, surprise!), Kathy Najimy, Olympia Dukakis, and Sigourney Weaver, who does a brilliant send-up of a highly marketed, Marianne Williamson-type healer. B