Thom Geier
May 28, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Almost Like Being In Love

Current Status
In Season
Steve Kluger

We gave it a B

Credit ”Will & Grace” for this beach-ready pair of PG-13 romantic comedies about gay men (with straight roommates) hankering for love. ”The Deal” follows a mixed group of post-college pals who forge a New Year’s Eve pact: Find true love in a year or stop whining about it. The chief draw of the amiable but somewhat arbitrary plot may be its setting in the atypical gay mecca of Houston.

In ”Almost,” theater queen Travis and baseball star Craig hook up during their last year at a New England boarding school and then retreat to opposite coasts. Twenty years later, Travis is a jock-friendly college prof who embarks on a cross-country road trip to find Craig, now a lawyer settled in a longtime relationship. The book is as breezy and preposterous as a Broadway musical; and while our heroes can sound interchangeable, perhaps that just means they’re meant for each other.

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