Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Christopher Ashley|
|Produced by||Mark Balsam|
|Written by||Paul Rudnick (play and screenplay)|
|Music by||Stephen Endelman|
|Cinematography||Jeffrey J. Tufano|
|Edited by||Cara Silverman|
|Distributed by||Orion Classics|
|August 18, 1995|
Jeffrey is a 1995 American gay romantic comedy film directed by Christopher Ashley. It is based on a play depicting the life and times of Richard Jeffrey by Paul Rudnick, who also wrote the screenplay.
Starring Steven Weber as Jeffrey and Michael T. Weiss as Steve, the film features cameos by Olympia Dukakis, Victor Garber, Gregory Jbara, Robert Klein, Nathan Lane, Camryn Manheim, Kathy Najimy, Kevin Nealon, Ethan Phillips, and Sigourney Weaver. Christine Baranski has a small role as the socialite hostess of a fundraiser that (in Jeffrey's imagination) turns into a cater-waiter hoedown orgy. The film co-stars Patrick Stewart as Sterling, an older gay decorator whose partner, Darius (Bryan Batt), dies of AIDS complications.
The story takes place in Manhattan during the height of the AIDS epidemic and revolves around the title character (Steven Weber), a gay man who has sworn off sex because of it. Almost immediately thereafter he meets Steve (Michael T. Weiss), a hunky, charming HIV positive man. He then experiences an emotional conflict as he must face his fear in order to accept love, often breaking the fourth wall to do so.
It is not so much that Jeffrey is afraid of dying himself, but that he is afraid that he will fall in love with someone who is bound to die; thus, his celibacy is not only about sex, but also about relationships in general. Helping him through this period of his life and advising him is a cast of cameos including Patrick Stewart, Nathan Lane, and Sigourney Weaver.
Reviews to Jeffrey were mixed to positive, as it holds a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews. Patrick Stewart got great acclaim for his supporting role, winning several critics awards, and even generated Oscars buzz, but failed to secure a nomination.