Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Michael McMillian, Lea Coco, Steve Fletcher, Mo Quigley, John Abele
Witty, knowing and immensely entertaining, Dorian Blues is a delightfully off-kilter coming-of-age tale from debut writer-director Tennyson Bardwell. Adolescence is proving a pain for Dorian (Michael McMillian). Hes an out... more »
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Totally Original and Cliche Free Coming Out Tale
Blake Fraina | Connecticut | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.
Thomas Janowski | Rochester, NY United States | 04/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's rare to find a film that is a near perfect blend of humor and seriousness. This is one of those rare films. What's truly awesome about the humor and seriousness of this film is how these two opposing forces blend seamlessly.
Every topic, every scene, every character is a well balanced blend of subtle humor and seriousness. There are so many clever and surprising touches that make this film great. One of my favorite scenes is when Dorian tells his mother he wants to talk and she replies "Well, sit down and talk." Then she gets up and walks away. Dorian is surprised by what his mother said(implies she will listen) and the viewer is surprised by the action of her walking away.
Dorian and Nicky have a typical brother to brother relationship. The interaction of the two after Dorian comes out is priceless. Nicky is at once accepting and at other times acts like a typical jock. The dancing scene with a school mate is hilarious. The dancing scene with the stripper is touching.
Steve Fletcher is great as the typically stern, unaccepting, close minded, Republican father. Fletcher is a great actor who I've missed seeing since his days on One Life To Live. The final irony of the film surrounds the death of the father. The news that Dorian is gay didn't trigger an immediate heart attack....it was the news that Nicky lost his football scholarship that did it. It is also very telling when Dorian and his father talk about AIDS. This conversation cracks the father's hard and harsh facade and shows that he does care.
The movie soundtrack is awesome too.
Overall, this is one truly excellent film. Sure it is another coming of age/coming out story, but this one contains the perfect blend of important issues blanketed in easy humor and that's priceless."
Not exactly fluff . . .
D. M. Schuster | Jersey City, NJ, USA | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I expected this movie to be just another teenage coming of age, coming out film and was not disappointed. I was surprised however, at the depth the film showed how painful some of the gay experience can be. Acting was good, but the direction was the star of this film. Well done. Hope to see more from this director."
Much Better Than I Was Expecting
Not Usually Hard To Please | 09/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't a slick, big-budget production. It can't possibly reach the pedestal of "high art" set by Brokeback Mountain or the films of Pedro Almodovar. But as a movie I expected to be just a fluffy, silly low-budget comedy, Dorian Blues managed some surprising about of emotional depth.
The largest part of the reason is star Michael McMillian, who manages to never be anything else than appealing even when playing the depths of neuroses. His wide-eyed enthusiam goes a long way towards elevating what could ordinarily be a paint-by-numbers gay indie movie. This is a gem in more ways than one. Highly recommended."