YMMV / In & Out

  • Accidental Aesop: "It is wrong to fire someone based on their sexual orientation," after the board of education fired Howard after coming out (although they denied the cause as Howard's sexual orientation, it was obvious that was the real reason). The only reason this is an accidental Aesop instead of an intentional one, was this was in the 90's where people still thought it was illegal to terminate employment based on sexuality, although nowadays it's all too painfully obvious this is not the case (in reality, Indiana was and still is one of the 29 states where it is perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay). This also gives the movie a new relevance to issues concerning gay rights in today's society.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Hollywood star Cameron Drake really an honest supporter of gay rights, or is he just using gay equality as a platform to increase his own recognition? What really calls this into question was his acceptance speech, where after he thanks his former teacher for inspiring him, he deliberately blurts out "... and he's gay!" When you look at the speech alone the closer is so awkward that it comes off more as a desperate attempt for attention, instead of as giving credit to someone who inspired you.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: "Volume One: 'Get a Grip!'."
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: When Cameron tells poor, insecure Emily she was Beautiful All Along.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer made this look like a lighthearted comedy of errors in which a heterosexual man with some stereotypically gay mannerisms gets accidentally outed at the Oscars by a former student who is now a successful actor, and must spend the rest of the film repairing his reputation when the whole world decides he must be gay just due to the way he walks or his impeccably stylish clothes. Of course, the actual point of the film is that Howard is deeply closeted and won't even admit his sexuality to himself until forced to confront it. It also gets pretty serious near the middle when Howard's sexual orientation gets him fired and has the entire town turning against him.
  • Values Dissonance: The film has an unfortunate tendency to reinforce stereotypes about what types of personal traits, interests, tastes, etc. are inherently "gay", even as it mocks its characters' espousal of those same stereotypes.