The entire town of Greenleaf, IN is ecstatic because hometown boy Cameron Drake [Matt Dillon] has been nominated for an Oscar for playing a gay soldier. His high school English teachers Howard Brackett [Kevin Kline] and Emily Montgomery [Joan Cusack] are particularly pleased - both worked hard with Cameron, both like him, and shortly after the Oscars, Howard and Emily, who have been 'going together' for three years, are getting married in a big, formal wedding. In addition, Howard, a dedicated and popular teacher, has been informed that he's the front runner for the annual 'Teacher of the Year' award. On Oscar night, Greenleaf cheers when Cameron Drake wins Best Actor - and is stunned when, in his acceptance speech, he dedicates the statue to "Howard Brackett - he's gay". This comes as news to Howard, who assures Emily - and his wedding-crazed mother Bernice[Debbie Reynolds] his students, and conservative school principal Tom Halliwell [Bob Newhart] that he is not gay. He intends to marry Emily on schedule. This is more than a relief to Halliwell, who can't even say the word 'homosexual', and to the formerly overweight Emily, who has built her entire life around being worthy of Howard....
Emily: Is everybody gay? What is this? The Twilight Zone?
Question: Here is a user comment from the "In and Out" imdb listing. It's about Tom Hank's drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth being the inspiration for this film: "although he provided the idea behind the character, the character as written in the film is not based on Farnsworth himself. The name, the quirky character traits, the Shakespeare lectures, the bicycle, the Midwestern background (Farnsworth was from Oakland CA), the sports coach connection all come from a long term USC theater professor." Does anyone know anything about this?
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