since the release of Adam & Steve, one of the most famous gay romantic comedy films ever made.
It's directed by
and stars Craig Chester, who also wrote the screenplay. It deals with the lives of two gay men who met in the
'80s, a time of big hair and bad drugs. Their initial
encounter didn't go well, so it's just as well they didn't really remember. But then they meet
again, both a little older although not much smarter, but with a lot more baggage.
Adam & Steve follows the trajectory of a relationship that started like a joke and
just kept getting funnier. For OutUK Chris Witwer has been reading actor and
director Craig Chester's novel which he's adapted from his screenplay of
the film of the same name.
As you may or may not guess, Craig Chester’s novel, Adam & Steve, takes
its name from that awful Christian saying that “God” created Adam and Eve, not
Adam and Steve. But don’t let the title fool ya—there’s very little about this novel
that is preachy, cute, or trite (except perhaps, the over-the-top ending).
correspondent Chris Witwer reviews this nicely written little novel about gay life in post 9/11 New
York City which was also made into a successful film.
Chester entertains us with witty little scenes as well as insightful twists in this
fun little novel about growing from the 80’s club scene into the gay afterlife of
normalcy, self-acceptance, and happiness.
Craig Chester as Adam in the film version
Hiding behind not-so-ageless both personas, Adam and Rhonda experience more than
they bargained for when they celebrate Adam’s 21st birthday at New York’s Danceteria.
Rhonda is painfully self-aware of her obesity and uses it to mask her true identity
while Adam is also aware of his own identity as a geek Jewish gay boy in 80’s New York.
Together they embark upon their first drug-induced party night, which ends with Adam
and a dancer named Steve experiencing a totally gross, disastrous, druggy one-night
stand attempt in Adam’s Hell’s Kitchen apartment.
Chapter Two takes us forward fifteen years to a hardly recognizable Rhonda and Adam,
with Steve nowhere to be found. Rhonda has conquered her food addiction (sort of) and
lost most of her tonnage, but finds that as a comedienne reliant upon self-effacing
fat jokes, she’s a failure. She’s going to have to find some new material—and she
doesn’t even know it yet.
Like many of us, Rhonda still sees herself the way she was before she embarked upon
her path of self-improvement. Adam, on the other hand, is a career-stunted Jewish
boy who really did want to be lawyer like his parents wanted him to be. But he,
too, has failed. One night he accidentally stabs his “child” (his wonderful dog, Burt)
and rushes him to a human’s hospital where a handsome shrink takes pity on him and
fixes his dog. The shrink is none other than Steve, but the two don’t yet realise
they’ve met before.
Filled with nutty escapades (a duck murder, a twink that won’t go away, the accidental
stabbing of a beloved dog, a dance-off), Adam & Steve is sure to entertain while
simultaneously taking us on the journey of two men lookin’ for love. They’ve both
settled for being promiscuous fags in a world that seems to work against them, but
what they really want is love. Will they find it? Can they overcome that first
humiliating night together and get past their own baggage?
Can they find someone to occupy Adam’s fag hag Rhonda and Steve’s couch-potato roommate
Michael so that they can be free to become completely enmeshed in one another? Will
the two men learn to love themselves while looking for love outside of themselves?
We’re not going to tell you—but we are going to recommend that you give Adam & Steve
a go. It’s a great novel by writer, director, and actor, Craig Chester, who made his name
with this fun story set in the Big Apple.
While releasing the novel, Chester simultaneously turned this amusing and intimate
look at growing up gay into a feature film that stars Craig Chester himself as Adam and Parker Posey
as his loving, though self-tortured cohort, Rhonda. Malcolm Gets plays the ripped ‘Dazzle Dancer,’
Steve, while Steve’s best friend Michael is played by Chris Kattan—and after reading the book,
you’ll agree that no one better could have been cast as Michael. I actually imagined someone
quite like Kattan when I read the book. Who else would bed a hallucinogenic homeless woman
named Stone Garden as an act of kindness while still spending most of his time playing
video games and living rent free on his best friend’s couch?
Adam & Steve combines over the top comedy with heartfelt romance. Anonymous shower sex
at the gym (who knew soap was an aphrodisiac?) is more than gratuitous—it actually
works as character development. The book’s one stereotypical homophobe is anything
but stereotypical—he’s refreshingly redneck and freaky. And the fag hag Rhonda is more
than a fag hag, she’s a real friend who’s character is fleshed out almost as well
as those of Adam and Steve.
It may now be a decade old but both the book and the film of Adam & Steve is still
an interesting take on gay life in one of the world's most exciting capital cities.
Adam & Steve by Craig Chester is published by Alyson Books and is available in the UK from
The film version can also be found on DVD.
the latest gay news, advice, entertainment and information together with gay guides
to cities and holiday destinations around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. There
are hundreds of galleries of photos and videos of the sexiest gay guys plus intimate personal profiles
of thousands of gay lads from all around the UK.