Top positive review
44 people found this helpful
Totally Original and Cliche Free Coming Out Tale
on May 19, 2006
For me the two main essentials that can make or break a film are first, the actors and, a close second, the writing. I'm happy to report DORIAN BLUES has the finest of both, in spades.
The cast, even down to the smallest roles, is uniformly excellent. A pleasant surprise when so often the acting in indie/low budget films is appalling, leaving one to assume that the director cast all his friends regardless of their lack of talent.
Michael McMillian as Dorian, is completely winning. Sort of Topher Grace-ish. Kinda cute but not distractingly so. Not in the least effeminate or outrageously quirky, yet still convincing as a gay character who sees himself as a misfit. He pulls off quite a few terrific comic moments but handles the dramatic stuff fairly admirably as well. And Lea Coco as Nick, his handsome jock brother, is an absolute revelation. Everyone - the boys' parents (particularly the thankless role of the father - a right wing conservative bully), Dorian's college friends, an understanding stripper, a wise therapist - all wonderful.
The storyline is completely unique for a coming out film, primarily because it's so much more than that. This is not a film about a teen learning to accept his homosexuality (which he does, fairly early on, and without too much fanfare). It is not about a virgin's quest for his first sexual experience (which is dispatched quickly, humourously...and off camera). And it's not about his achieving the acceptance or respect of his father (which he does not). It's about a young man coming to terms with the fact that he has turned out bitter, mean, sarcastic and angry - just like his father, whom he despises. The writing sparkles with wit and originality. There was nary a cringe-worthy moment in the dialogue where I was left thinking, "But people don't actually say things like that." It all sounded intelligent and natural.
Additionally, the film managed to buck several big gay film cliches and was emotionally richer for it. In particular, the relationship between the brothers, Dorian and Nick, was unbelievably well done. Nick is the first one Dorian comes out to and he accepts him fairly quickly yet with a realistic amount of reserve - considering he's only a high school junior, and a popular athlete at that. Their loving, supportive, occasionally combative, relationship is one of the finest (and refreshingly cliche-free) depictions of two brothers (straight, gay or otherwise) that I have ever seen on film. I don't want to go into a huge amount of detail but I think the folks who write for some of the more strident, polemical LGBT TV shows could learn alot from Tennyson Bardwell, the writer/director of this lovely, funny and moving little film.