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on November 7, 2009
The college dorm's resident "out and proud" gay couple, Olaf ("Gunn") and Nathan, are going home to spend Christmas with their respective families, and those families couldn't be more different. Whereas "trust fund baby" Nathan's parents are rather cold, status-seeking yuppies, Olaf's parents are a couple of former hippies who start decorating their home for the holidays months before. When Nathan's parents stand him up to go on a holiday cruise, he decides to surprise Olaf by joining him at his parents, only to find out that his parents have no clue that he is gay. Nathan immediately tries to "butch it up" a bit, but is disappointed and hurt that Olaf is unable - more like unwilling - to introduce him as his boyfriend.

A sweet and engaging, though somewhat corny, story about honesty, self-acceptance and - ultimately - the meaning of love. Newcomer Keith Jordan does a first-rate job as the emotionally conflicted Olaf, and is surrounded by an excellent cast of veteran character actors, including Derek Long ("3-Day Weekend" and several other gay films) as Olaf's stoner dad, actress/voiceover artist Kelly Keaton as his jolly mother, Hallee Hirsh (who played Dr. Greene's daughter on "ER") as Olaf's supposed girlfriend Abby, Alison Arngrin (best know as Nellie Olsen on "Little House on the Prairie") as Abby's mom, Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher on "Star Trek: TNG") as Nathan's mom, and Adamo Ruggiero (Marco for five seasons on "Degrassi: The Next Generation") as Nathan. The direction and technical aspects seem flawless, and there are even a half dozen or so original songs on the soundtrack. DVD isn't rated, but would likely be PG; definitely a film you could (and should) share with your parents and younger siblings. Popular at several gay film festivals, and in a limited theatrical run, this just might become a timeless gay holiday classic. Watch out for the mistletoe over the doorway, and I give "Yuletide" a full five stars out of five.
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on August 7, 2010
Sometimes sweetness and innocence are enough. A movie doesn't have to be the best, the most technically assured, when the characters that inhabit it are filled with genuine goodness. Among the dreck of most gay cinema, it's an unexpected surprise to find a movie that rests on the laurels of simple affection and succeeds.

The premise is simple enough: Olaf is a college senior. While he's freely out on campus, things are different at the Gunnunderson (yes, Gunnunderson) household. Olaf goes home to visit his wacky parents, and is shocked when his boyfriend, Nathan, having been ditched by his cold-hearted parents, shows up on the doorstep. Olaf isn't out, of course, so he introduces Nathan as his "roommate." The film follows Olaf as he struggles to tell his parents who he truly is, and Nathan, who isn't at all comfortable being shoved back in the closet.

I've read some reviews criticizing the film's over-the-top characters and sometimes awkward dialogue. But you know what? "Make the Yuletide Gay" has such a joyous spirit that none of those things matter. Cynicism isn't wanted here. Olaf and Nathan (played charmingly by Keith Jordan and Adamo Ruggiero) have true, genuine affection for one another. Olaf's parents, while not necessarily realistic, are filled with love and, knowing that Nathan has been dumped by his parents, take him and treat him like one of their own. And the most miraculous part of the film? It's practically devoid of negative gay stereotypes. No drugs. No random sex (save for one hilariously interrupted intimate moment). And when the drama comes, it isn't born of archetypes, but of two characters, deeply in love, who can't bear to watch each other suffer.

This is a sweet movie, a hidden gem.
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on December 11, 2009
At last a gay film which is well written and acted, unpredictable and a true feel-good film which stands above the rest of the mostly crappy American gay films that have been released this year. There should be more films like this. A true rarity.
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on February 16, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised at this movie; it was silly, touching, and oddly very satisfying. Oh, by the way, it's funny. Sometimes acidly funny, sometimes screamingly funny, and sometimes just surprisingly funny. Moreover, it's a love story. A Christmas love story. A Gay Christmas love story that, in my opinion, crosses orientation boundaries and could well become a classic. The plot is pretty simple; a gay couple of college students, Gunn and Nathan, are heading home for the holidays. Gunn is going back to his middle-class suburban, albeit slightly off-center, family where he's still solidly in the closet. Nathan's parents are wealthy, socially prominent, and have made holiday plans that do not include their gay son whom they know about, but it just isn't discussed. Faced with being stranded alone over Christmas, Nathan turns up at Gunn's house. That's when the fun starts. Gunn and Nathan try to maintain the "just roommates" façade, while trying to maintain and accept their own relationship and reality. This comedy is a farce, yet it's also quite tender and serious. Gunn faces having to out himself to his family and friends. Nathan learns that "family" is also a matter of choice not just biology. The pace is rapid, but not too fast. The dialogue ranges from groan-inducing innuendo to laugh-out-loud exchanges. And the ending -- well, it's a Christmas Love story. By the time you get to the end, you're engaged with all the characters on their own terms, and it's satisfying, touching, and fit without being saccharine. It's a great movie for the holidays, or to make any day a celebration of life, of choice, and of love.
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on February 9, 2011
This movie is very reminiscent of "Meet the Parents" and "Guess Who." The story centers around Olaf "Gun" Gununderson. He's a gay college student who's out on campus, but not at home. When Christmas break lets out, Gun and his boyfriend Nathan (played by Degrassi's Adamo Ruggiero) say goodbye thinking they won't see each other for the break and thus keeping Gun's secret. However, hilarity ensues as Nathan has a change of plans and ends up on the Gununderson's doorway a few days before Christmas. This movie is not a deep, emotional, change the world type film, but it is very entertaining and funny with moments of pure honesty and emotion spread throughout. This film is definitely a feel good movie with the power to make you laugh and at the same time become emotionally invested. Ruggiero puts on a great performance that seems effortless and Keith Jordan (Gun) brings to light the frustrations and fear of coming out to one's family while at the same time portraying a very out and proud gay activist on campus. This film is definitely worth a watch and the characters will make you fall in love with them.
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VINE VOICEon November 3, 2010
I love this movie. You have quite a cast of characters, from the two young men to the stoner father, the giggly, hilariously clueless mother, the next door Cougar (played by Alison Arngrim aka Nellie Oleson!) Alison's appearance is worth the price of this movie alone. Whenever I feel down, I watch this movie to brighten up my day. Pure, fun entertainment with some corny gay humor & puns thrown in for good measure. It's a nice change from the formulaic Christmas movies (which I love BTW). This one is somewhat formulaic but the gay theme makes it different and delightfully quirky. Make some hot cocoa and snuggle up with your honey & enjoy this feel-good holiday film!
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on December 7, 2011
Main actor Keith Jordan is talented and attractive too, reminding me of a younger Jake Gyllenhaal, probably not a coincidence. His co-star and love interest in the movie, Adamo Ruggiero, is convicing enough and cute. Hallee Hirsh plays the nice-girl-gone-wild/confidant next-door neighbor very well. I don't know these three but will watch for them going forward. Sets are OK after the beginning, sound is good, lighting good, editing good, but script and especially directing and/or acting on the part of the parents leaves us often in disbelief. The central character's mom, played by Kelly Keaton, is supposed to be over the top, but it's often too much and distracts from the movie. The dad, played by Derek Long, is even worse, with inconsistent character behavior that again goes well beyond the intended fragmented behavior the dad is supposed to exhibit (case in point: dad can't open his eyes in his first scene without the use of eyeglasses, but later is walking downtown streets and looking at people with normal vision sans eyeglasses) Oh, it was really great to see Gates McFadden, but too bad she had such very quick and rather minor cameo appearances. In the version I bought, however, she had the closing scene.
OK, enough of the criticism. This is still a touching film and if you can handle the slightly less than Grade A, I recommend it.
Ah, interesting, I see IMDB mentions a sequel coming out in 2012. Same main three actors, set one year later. Gotta check it out!
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on May 2, 2016
A gay Christmas movie that gets a little silly at times, but it's really meant to be watched around Christmas, but still fun. Think I'd look for a used
copy, although this gay movie for a gay time of year does have it's moments, and next Christmas when we're all moaning about who's the president
and how much everything costs, well this little Yuletide flick at a good price now might just help bring some joy back to Christmas.
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on September 17, 2015
I really liked this movie. It went beyond the premise. The acting was fine and all the characters and situations were realistically portrayed except for the notion that immediately upon coming out to his parents after years of anguish, he'd be engaging in VERY PDA at the dinner table!
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VINE VOICEon November 11, 2009
Ok, not the best movie I've ever seen. A little corny, a little over the top acting, script that is a little banal. That being said, it's a very sweet story, and the characters are very likeable and endearing. By the end of the movie I found that I cared about the people in the story and wanted everything to work out well for them. The ending was satisfying, and I finished the movie feeling glad that I'd watched it.
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