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A Very Serious Person
A Very Serious Person
Actor: Charles Busch; Polly Bergen
Director: Charles Busch
Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
UR     2007     1hr 36min

A touching tale of evolving sexual identity and self-discovery that feels both familiar and utterly original. Precocious teen Gil loves vacations with his beloved grandma Mrs. A (Emmy winner Polly Bergen, Commander in Chie...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Charles Busch; Polly Bergen
Director: Charles Busch
Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Sub-Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: Wolfe Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/20/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Love and Where to Find It
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A VERY SERIOUS PERSON is a tight little film with a fine story, solid cast and enough thoughts about connecting isolated individuals to make the movie both entertaining and touching. Spanning the ages from young teenagers to middle age to elderly, each focusing on basically needy souls trying to find solid ground, writer (with Carl Andress)/director/actor Charles Busch has developed an ensemble effect in casting just the right actors to relate his ideas.

As a summer for consolation for the elderly ill Mrs. Aronson (Polly Bergen, reminding us what a fine performer she is!) has requested that her 13-year-old grandson Gil (P.J. Verhoest), whose parents are deceased, come live with her on the Jersey shore. Mrs. A is known for being a difficult patient, going through live-in nurses like wildfire, and living with her trusty housekeeper Betty (veteran actress Dana Ivey), but she is in for a surprise when young Gil moves in - a slightly feminine lad with a penchant for old Hollywood movies, writing grand stories about great heroines, dressing like Marie Antoinette, and refusing to learn swimming or any outdoor activities in favor of watching 'Gone with the Wind' whenever possible.

Into this household enters the latest 'nurse', a gay Danish ex-dancer Jan (Charles Busch) who by admission is 'a very serious person' - obsessive compulsive in his care for Mrs. A, coping with the flustered Betty, and rarely smiling at the antics of the overpowering Gil. Each of these three rather glitzy people is lonely, and each in his/her own way wants acceptance and love. The story is how the three learn from each other, give and take, and find the niche that proves the summer was not wasted.

Busch draws marvelous performances from Bergen, Verhoest, and Ivey as well as creating lovable side characters: the outrageous gay hairdresser (Carl Andress) and his associate (Alexa Eisenstein), Jan's love interest (Simon Fortin) among others. The growing relationship between Jan and Gil provides a platform for some serious issues about accepting sexuality and the interaction of all the characters on the failing Mrs. A is warmly managed. This is a comedy with an edge and above all it is a solidly entertaining movie. Grady Harp, January 08
Sweet, original story of coming of age, dealing with loss.
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Raised by his grandmother after his parents death, Gil is a shy but enthusiastically creative 13 year old boy, who loves show tunes and "Gone With The Wind". Unfortunately, Mrs. A (played with her usual panache by Polly Bergen) isn't likely to live out the year, so Gil looks forward to sharing what may be their last summer together on the Jersey shore. Assisting her with practical matters at home has been her friend Betty (Dana Ivey), as well as a live-in nurse, which the still-feisty Mrs. A has a tendency to frustrate. When the agency sends Jan, a somewhat fey Danish male nurse, Betty and Gil assume he won't last long, but surprisingly he and Mrs. A get along well. Jan also becomes the primary male role model for Gil, and tries to tame some of his acting-out and conflicts with his grandmother.

In his directorial debut (and one of his few movie roles out of drag), Charles Bush portrays Jan as a strong-minded, no-nonsense, sophisticated taskmaster with a heart of gold, who worries about how Gil's rather flamboyant peraonality will go over when he has to go live with an aunt and cousins in Florida, after his grandmother passes on. Jan even feuds with a local male hairdresser, who sees himself in the boy and wants to encourage him to be proud of who and what he is. It's a sweet, quite original coming-of-age story with added aspects of dealing with death and dying. DVD (out 11/20/2007) has commentary by Bush, deleted scenes and a short. I give it four stars out of five.

Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

""A Very Serious Person"


Amos Lassen

Charles Busch is a familiar name in gay entertainment. He is a playwright, a movie maker, an actor and a wonderful drag persona. Now Wolfe Video is releasing, in November 2o, his new movie, "A Very Serious Person" in which he directs himself for the first time. The movie premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in 2006 and has received awards at other festivals including one for artistic achievement.
"A Very Serious Person" tells the story of Jan (Charles Busch, himself), an itinerant male nurse from Denmark who takes a job taking care of a terminally ill women, Mrs. A (Polly Bergen--I remember her; I guess I am really old). Mrs. A has been raising her orphaned thirteen year old grandson, Gil. As they spend the summer by the shore, Jan who prides himself on his mental reserve finds himself in a strange position as a mentor to the boy and preparing him to spend the rest of his life with his Floridian cousins upon the death of his grandmother. The boy and the man develop a deep emotional bond--two loners find each other and they are both changed by their friendship. Gil matures and acquires independence and Jan reveals just how vulnerable he really is. As the two men become closer and develop a deep camaraderie, they begin to include others into their circle and this causes Gil to take his first steps on his journey of self-discovery.
Charles Busch gives us a beautiful little movie and I use the word little in the positive sense. Had the movie been bigger it would have not had the tenderness and beauty it has. Watching the man and the boy develop their relationship was a beautiful experience and everything else about the film is wonderful as well.
The Bar Has Been Raised!
Michael Packard | Middlesex, GBR | 04/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A Very Serious Person is instantly the classic heart-warming gay film for the ages. Its a coming-of-age film set in Florida with a cast to die for. Charles Bush, is the gay Danish nanny and pseudo father-figure to new-comer P.J. Verhoest, who plays Gil, a 13 year-old Hollywood-obsessed boy, bound for stage and the multi-colored life, and Dana Ivey, who plays the dying Betty is marvelous in this gently picture about love and respect in American. This film touches on many themes and manages to give them all the respect that is due to them. I recommend you watch it again and again."