To celebrate the arrival of the gay-themed romantic-comedy Is It Just Me? on Blu-Ray we are republishing our review of the movie.

Blaine (played by Nicholas Downs) is a fairly nice & cute young writer who's looking for romance rather than just “what's behind the zipper,” and who blogs about his perpetual – and to date, unsuccessful – search for love. Xander (David Loren) is an adorable young cowboy from Texas who's also looking for more than just sex, who loves Blaine's writing, and who might just be the guy Blaine's been looking for. But after they hit it off online and then on the phone, Blaine realizes that (for reasons I won't go into) he's unwittingly been displaying the online profile pic of his buff go-go-boy roommate, Cameron, instead of his own picture. Blaine's self esteem isn't the greatest, and he immediately starts spazzing out at the thought that the connection he and Xander seemed to have with each other wouldn't have been there if Xander knew what Blaine really looked like. So he convinces Cameron to participate in an ill-advised role reversal when they finally meet Xander face-to-face, to determine whether Blaine's brains or Cameron's brawn will win the cowboy's heart. All of which leads to hilarious results.

Well, okay. Not so much hilarious as gently amusing and sweet. It's undeniable that the film relies on too many contrived plot points – the initial mistaken identity thing is just one of several – and it took some pretty determined suspension of disbelief to get past some of them. And to be honest, we all pretty much know how everything is going to end up. (After all, this is essentially a gay date flick, and who watches a date flick expecting an unhappy ending?) But in the way that matters most, the movie works: We care about the characters, enough to get past the contrived circumstances and the questions of whether this or that little bit of business really makes sense.

The acting is a big help in making the characters, and their happiness, matter to us. Downs imbues Blaine with enough vulnerability to make us root for him even when he's acting incredibly stupidly and on those few occasions when we know he's (pardon the expression) completely full of shit. And when he believes Xander has slept with Cameron (as a result of the foolishness he himself set in motion), the palpable look of confused hurt on his face feels absolutely genuine, as do the despairing tears he later cries.

Loren doesn't have to push his portrayal of Xander as far, but he does a good job of taking the character where he needs to go. Xander is written to be such a dream come true in so many ways that it probably would have been easy to turn him into a two-dimensional caricature of The Perfect Gay Man. But Loren makes him feel real – even with a smile that's too good to be true.

The role of Ernie (Bruce Gray), Xander's landlord/roommate and confidant, was an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. Ernie is an older gay man whose heart was broken decades ago, and who consequently has given up on love, at least for himself. Gray plays the character with enough camp to be endearing but not annoying, and when Ernie gives Xander some important advice near the end of the film, Gray's delivery is nicely poignant without becoming maudlin.

Speaking of advice, I always like it when a film is able to express a few truths here and there – whether through the characters' words or purely thematically – and this one manages to get some good points across, without sounding preachy. Points such as: The fact that someone's not perfect doesn't mean he's not the right guy for you. (And it doesn't matter in what ways he's not perfect, because nobody's perfect.); Sometimes the most self-fulfilling prophecies are those caused by our own low self esteem; Don't think you've got all the time in the world to find what you want – look for it now; But even so, it's never too late (even if you may have thought it was).

Enjoyable characters, moments of genuine feeling, and overall sweetness go a long way to overcome an admittedly predictable plot, and leave me happy to recommend Is It Just Me? for an evening's light & fluffy entertainment.

But hey, maybe that's just me.

(Is It Just Me? is also available on DVD. Check out the movie's trailer embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)