Kiss Me Guido: Tony Vitale’s Gay Comedy, Contesting Italian-American Stereotypes

Tony Vitale’s “Kiss Me Guido,” a farce in the mode of Desperately Seeking Susan, plays gay and Italian American stereotypes against one another.

The opening scene of the Sundance Film Fest entry sets up the great divide between the two sub-cultures.  They are represented by a sexy pizza parlor worker, Frankie (former model Nick Scotti), and a gay stage director, Warren (Anthony Barrile).

The two men end up as roommates as a result of misunderstanding; Frankie naively believes that “GWM” in a Village Voice ad means “Guy With Money.”   The ideological point of this liberal film, which ultimately perpetuates rather than really contests stereotypes, is to preach for co-existenc, showing that gays and straights could be good friends and trust each others–despite variable sexual orientation and lifestyle.

Release by Paramount Classics on July 18, 1997, the low-budget film (about $750,000) found an audience and grossed $1,918,497 at the box-office, a respectable performance for a gay-themed indie.