About ten minutes into the comedy Gayby – in which a gay man and his best ladyfriend decide to procreate in the most dinner-party-convo-demolishing way possible (aka “The Old Fashioned Way”) – I laughed out loud. Sure, some gay romcoms are cute, or naughty, or sweet – but laugh-out-loud funny? Pretty rare. So imagine my delight when I found my guard shattered to thousands of glittery bits by the well-placed use of the word “whimsical”.
Written and directed by relative newcomer Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby tells the story of two New York City friends who want to be parents, and decide that it’s time to use their natural biological complements to do so. Matt (Matthew Wilkas, aka “The Adorable Bastard Lovechild of Dexter and Stifler”) works in a comic book store and is still sorting through the rubble of a failed long-term relationship. Jenn (future Gay Icon nominee Jenn Harris) is a yoga teacher and chronic overachiever plagued by frequent lapses of judgment, a domineering older sister, and a ticking biological clock.
Both Matt and Jenn are complemented by appropriately bitchy and possibly evil gay henchmen: Matt has Nelson (Lisecki), a boutique retail clerk reveling in his own genderf*ck self-discovery as he begrudgingly aids Matt and Jenn in their quest to conceive; Jenn has Jamie (Jack Ferver, who memorably played gay punching bag Jimmy Tickles on Strangers With Candy), a bitingly shrewd co-worker who seems to revel in the misery of others. Nelson and Jamie do eventually have a showdown. It is fabulous.
Honestly, not much goes on in Gayby that’s particularly major in the plot department – it’s structured a bit like a romantic comedy, only here the couple are best friends who have no interest in swapping fluids… though that’s eventually what they do. Many, many times.
But it’s to the credit of the script and cast that you don’t really notice the lack of plot until about halfway in because you’re too busy enjoying the interactions of these accessible, modern, multidimensional characters. They talk like real people, they laugh like real people, and they ultimately have rather unremarkable lives, like most of us real people do. The only thing that makes them movie-worthy is that they want to start a family in a nontraditional way … well, and they’re kind of gorgeous and/or unnaturally hilarious, which never hurts.