Coming-of-age. A small-town young man realizes why he's such a misfit - he's gay! Adolescence is proving a pain for the always-thinking Dorian. He's an outcast and the butt of classmates' fag jokes at high school. He's different and understands why when he reaches the conclusion that he's a ""stereotypical gay."" He soon announces this discovery to his homophobic, Nixon-loving dad. As Dad throws him out of the house, Dorian's off to NYU to encounter a new world of coffee houses, sophisticates and handsome men.
Like That 70's Show
and Napolean Dynamite
, director Tennyson Bardwell's debut feature, Dorian Blues
, stylishly contemplates the hellishness of high school in the '70s, but through a gay protagonist. Dorian Lagatos (played by Michael McMillan) is raised by Nixon-loving conservatives, and his manly brother is star of the football team, so it's difficult for him to admit, even to himself, that he is gay. Coming-out scenes construct a picture that is wrought by fear made into dry comedy. Dorian cries to himself in the middle of the night, gets beat up in the school halls, falls in love with his male therapist, talks to a dummy in order to practice breaking the news to his father, and tries to learn how to fight his brother when he finds out that Dorian is a "sissy." When Dorian leaves for New York, he meets his first boyfriend, and befriends a vivacious lesbian named El. Scenes in S&M clubs, coffee bars, and New York lofts show Dorian slowly coming to terms with his true identity. The film's opening and closing shots take place at the cemetery during Dorian's father's funeral, accentuating not only the hatred Dorian feels for this stubborn man, but also the anger and fear Dorian harbors for himself. Ultimately, he must obliterate this order to find real happiness. Dorian Blues
is a study in self-confidence, made funny by familiar scenes that teenagers struggling to fit in will know all too well.--Trinie Dalton