Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998)

Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998) is an imaginative, breezy piece that was a surprise hit in the U.S. The movie was inspired by the director’s love of William Wyler’s drama The Heiress.

The story: Twenty-six-year-old struggling photographer Billy is broke and his boyfriend Fernando has cheated on him. A hopeless romantic, Billy is looking for love. While having coffee with his gal-pal George, he falls for coffee-shop waiter and musician Gabriel. He doesn’t know if Gabriel is gay or straight but hires him as his model for a photo shoot. Gabriel says he has a girlfriend in San Francisco but sends out mixed signals. As they become friends, Billy wonders Is he or isn’t he?


  • Sean B. Hayes sparkles as nice guy Billy
  • Loaded with film references
  • Colorful cinematography by Mark Mervis
  • Gabriel is warm and friendly and it’s easy to see why Billy likes him
  • Shows that straight couples can have messed-up relationships too
  • It examines the idea of unrequited love
  • Most of the time we’re unsure if Gabriel is straight or gay
  • Imaginative use of Polaroids depicting flashbacks


  • The plot is third-rate
  • Disappointing movie score
  • Most of the straight men in the movie are cardboard cutout characters
  • Editing and sound could’ve been better
  • The dance numbers are way too camp
  • The ending seems abrupt

You’ll recognize Sean Hayes for his role as struggling actor Jack McFarland in Will & Grace. Hayes starred in Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss before playing Jack and in some ways the characters have a lot in common. However, he brings a lot more depth to the character of Billy Collier and there are many heart-rending moments as he tries to tell Gabriel how he feels about him. With excellent comic timing his perfect portrayal of Billy is restrained and thoughtful.

The movie doesn’t feature any major stars and was made for little money but that doesn’t hold it back from being a charming and modern gay rom-com. It shows us that gay and straight people are very alike when it come to matters of the heart. The clever script contains lots of humorous one-liners and the charismatic cast do well. It has the usual romantic comedy tropes but it still has a lot to commend it.

Watch Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998) Now

› Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998)

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you The Romantic Comedy Newsletter.

Recent Articles

  1. Romancing the Stone (1984) - Rip-Roaring Romance!

    Oct 27, 18 05:25 PM

    A cracking romantic adventure with terrific characters, Romancing the Stone (1984) may be dated but it’s still good natured and entertaining.

    Read More

  2. Alice Movie - Magical Manhattan!

    Aug 27, 18 04:13 PM

    Stylish and imaginative, Woody Allen’s Alice Movie (1990) is a tale of a privileged New Yorker on the verge of a midlife crisis.

    Read More

  3. Working Girl (1988) Movie Review

    Aug 02, 18 03:13 PM

    Working Girl is a lighthearted movie about an ambitious young woman who wants more out of life than being a secretary and getting married to her loser

    Read More