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Why I Gave It 4 Stars: It was a solid 3, leaning towards 4 in the beginning, and towards the end, so I compromised. A solid B- film you might say.
The Story: It centers around Henry (played by Matt Newton). Henry is the son of a ultra conservative Senator from the south. Think of "The Birdcage", minus anything to laugh at. Henry is also gay. The film, told in "flashback style" as Henry tells his story to a reporter unfolds over the course of 6 months. Basically, Henry comes out, and family chaos follows. But not for long, as we're almost to the end of the film.
What I Liked: Personally, I liked the edge. This was almost more of a docu-drama, albeit a ficticious one, which could easily be based on truth. The actors were good to very good, the overall production was good as well.
What I Did Not Like: I was nearly half-way through the film, starting to get concerned where it was going, before all the character/story sub-plots were connected. The second half of the movie was strongest.
The Rest of the Characters: Besides our lead, Henry, we also focus on his stereo-typical bigot Republican Father/Senator, and his "senator's wife" Mother. And to the mix, a straight girl Izzi, and her gay male friend Anthony, whose relationship was unusual at best. Anthony and Henry meet under some unusual circumstances at a college party.Read more ›
The overall production quality is below average. The interior set scenes are cheap and sparse. The movie doesn't flow smoothly. Many times the script and scenes moved at a disjointed pace. The sound quality is poor and uneven. At one moment I'm straining to hear the dialogue then all of a sudden, the background music jumps 100 decibels. I didn't feel connected to or had any empathy to any of the characters. Karen Allen's portrayal as the senator's wife was lauded in some reviews. I found her character- as everyone else's in the film- to be hoo hum, not complex or multi-dimensional, and disappointing. The ending of the film seemed abrupt and very unsatisifying. Spend your time researching your candidates, issues, and propositions in your upcoming election instead of watching this movie. It will be a more constructive choice of your time.
Sounds like a simple, solid plot, and it could have been a great film. Unfortunately, the first-time director has to work with a boring cliche and platitude laden script by an inexperienced writing team, as all this unfolds in meandering flashbacks building up to the date that the student is supposed to introduce his dad at a college political rally (and even that doesn't make sense, since a rabidly conservative senator would not likely find many supporters on a university campus!) It's a shame, because the actors (including veteran character actor Michael Lerner as the senator) deserved better, and so do the viewers. 3 stars out of five.
It's a story about family, and the lengths one might go to cover up, or continue to deny, one's own sexuality, for fear of rejection or anger from, in this case, one's father. In this case, the father is a despicable character, and I can't imagine particularly feeling beholden to him or worrying a lot about his feelings.
Unfortunately all the characters are fairly one-dimensional, and we don't really get the chance to care about them. There is a significant side story about a friend of the lead character, and I wondered what was going to happen. (Were they attracted to each other, or what?) Nothing happens. It should have been edited out.
And then there is this huge culmination of anticipation as you expect something really radical and huge to occur. The event is fairly modest, actually, and I wondered whether this was really the huge disaster that it is built up to be. (I thought it was actually a good thing, but six months later the son is still sad and suffering because of it?)
I also grew weary of the characters negativity, self-pity, and basically wretched view of themselves and the world. Perhaps if they all weren't focusing on the worst of themselves and their families/friends, then maybe they'd have time to shed the "victim" hat and try to make their world a little better. It was as if the film-maker intentionally set out to make a negative movie that goes basically nowhere.
It is a bold attempt and has some great moments and decent acting. It's editing and scene-shifting and, turns out, sorta weak story line and unnecessarily negative screen play make this piece much less than it should have been. Three stars for a movie worth seeing and a bold attempt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I give it 2 stars because the storyline was interesting. However, I found the characters unrelatable and boring.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really liked this one. Likely true to life in many similar situations.Great eye candy.Published 1 month ago by Timothy
Good performance by an ensemble cast. Timely depiction of politics as influenced by the AIDS crisis and gay rights. Excellent performance by Karen Allen.Published 3 months ago by David G. Ragsdale
Great movie, it kept me glued to the TV screen. Good story, really good acting.Published 4 months ago by Curtis
Well written and acted film about the tension between family power and expectations and a person's honesty about his sense of self and identity. Well worth the investment!Published 5 months ago by David L. Wirick
A conservative politician who believes he can count on his family for support discovers his son is not the man he thought he was in this drama. Read more