Nov 29, 2015

Danny Nucci: Some of My Best Friends

During the early 2000s, the success of Will and Grace prompted producers to flood the market with clones like Some of My Best Friends (2001), about an upper-class Anglo gay guy (Jason Bateman) living in Manhattan (aren't all gay people affluent, Anglo Manhattanites?) who accidently gets a straight, homophobic, working-class, Italian roommate (Danny Nucci, left).  Sounds more like Joey and Chandler of Friends than Will and Grace.

Only five episodes aired during the spring of 2001.  I saw half of one. Stereotypes were abundant.

The Advocate heavily promoted the show (before it aired).  It even gave Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci a test to see who knew the most about gay people.  Danny won.

No wonder.  Jason Bateman hasn't had a lot of experience in gay and gay-friendly roles, but Danny Nucci has. As a teenager in the 1980s, he played a lot of buddy-bonding roles, and in the 1990s he transitioned to gay, bisexual, or "best buddy of the gay guy" roles.  Plus he provides ample beefcake with numerous shirtless and nude scenes.

The Brotherhood of Justice (1986): a group of teenagers become violent vigilantes. Danny's character cuddles with brother Keanu Reeves.

An Enemy Among Us (1987). A CBS Schoolbreak Special.  Danny plays a boy who contracts AIDS from a blood transfusion.  But everybody thinks he's. . .you know.

Titanic (1997): Danny plays Fabrizio, Leonardo DiCaprio's buddy in the only gay subtext in the interminable movie.

The Unknown Cyclist (1998): a man dying of AIDS gets his gay and straight friends to participate in a charity bike race.  Danny plays the bisexual Gaetano, who is HIV positive.

Friends and Lovers (1999): a group of friends hits the ski slopes.  Danny plays a gay guy who gets his first boyfriend.

More recently, on "Mob Rules," an episode of House (2005): Danny plays a mobster who discovers that his brother is gay (he's going to become a witness so he can enter the Witness Protection Program and avoid harassment by his homophobic family).