Sweet, smart, and funny, Mulligans is more than a poignant family drama; more than a coming out movie. — Straight college jock Tyler brings his best friend Chase to his family s lakeside home for summer vacation. The Davids... more »on family welcomes Chase but as the summer blossoms, unexpected attractions flare. Tyler s Mom Stacey tries to keep it all together while Tyler s Dad Nathan valiantly struggles with his long suppressed sexuality.
Exceptionally well-written and packed with great performances from a strong cast that includes Charlie David (Dante s Cove, A Four Letter Word), Thea Gill (Queer as Folk), Dan Payne (Watchmen), Derek James and newcomer Grace Vukovic.« less
"We saw Mulligans at the film festival here in Rochester and were so impressed with the relevance of the story. So many people are coming out later in life - after marriage, children and career and are trying to find a way to navigate the world as a new person.
The acting is wonderful, it's a story that needs to be told and it's beautiful. The music was really great too, would love to get a soundtrack.
Definitely recommend Mulligans - a 'gay film' for everyone. An important film for straight people to see."
A Family's Life Changes
S. Dianand | 02/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This poignant movie starts out simple enough. The eldest son,Tyler, brings his best friend,Chase, along to spend summer vacation with his family. Chase and Tyler's father,Nathan, bond while the rest of the family is off to Tylers grandmother's house. First,there was slight sexual tension in the air,and it develops into an affair that both get carried away in. The results change the dynamic between the two best friends and between the family."
Hang in There for the 2nd Half.
Glenn_from_CT | CT | 07/15/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Mulligans" is, for the most part, another one of those problematic, independent, gay-themed films that no major studio would touch. Overall, it's not a bad movie... in fact, when it's good, it's really good. You just have to get through the plodding first half to get to the good stuff.
Let's knock out first what doesn't work here. First off, Charlie David (Chase) and Derek Baynham (Tyler) are WAY too old for their parts. They're supposed to be college kids on summer break, but they both look about 28 years old (which, in fact, they were when this film was made.) This wouldn't be quite so bothersome if not for the fact that Tyler's parents, Nathan (Dan Payne) and Stacey (Thea Gill) look only about ten years older than him (which, in fact, they were when this film was made.)
Next: the big, dumb, loud party scene. `Nuff said.
The biggest problem I had with "Mulligans" was that writer/producer/actor David clearly had it in mind that his character, Chase, was supposed to be the focal point of the story. Considering the DVD box features his handsome mug 20 times larger than the family in the background, I'm easily led to believe that this was intended to be something of a vanity project. Unfortunately, it probably became clear to him halfway through filming that Chase is only the catalyst here, and that the real story - the interesting one - involves the family going through a less-than-orthodox breakdown.
Frankly, I didn't care about the character of Chase at all. David's one-note acting didn't help the cause. Neither did the fact that Chase is a painter... something that was done far more realistically and thoughtfully in "Shelter". Here, it's just a cliché device to show how sensitive Chase is. (Forget the fact that he embarks on an affair with his best friend's still-quite-married dad while mom is away visiting grandma.) Chase would have made for a great "bad guy" here; instead, David chooses to make him come across as something of a nice-boy and a victim. It's a weak choice that nearly unhinges the film.
It all looks like it's going to go into the drink when something miraculous happens: the second half of the film. Nathan is discovered and forced to come out, and suddenly the film takes on a third dimension.
A lot of the credit for this amazing upturn is directly attributable to Dan Payne's subtle, aching performance. He's given the impossible task of making us believe that a former high-school football player turned Porsche-driving stud-businessman-golfer could be hiding in the closet for years, and succeeds beautifully. Yeh, it's unlikely this could happen, but with Payne helming the ship through its most unbelievable passages, it strikes us all as very real.
I have to say that I didn't care for Thea Gill's performance as doting-wife-and-mom Stacey throughout the first half of the film. She tries too hard to come across as a suburban phony, making for a lot of very forced moments. But, once again, once Nathan's character is exposed, Gill drops the phony routine and shows us who Stacey really is: a bitter but realistic woman who is as tired of living a lie as Nathan is. The scene where she confronts her husband with the truth is so well done it's nearly a part of another film. What could have plunged into a pool of soap ends up being the crowning scene in the film, one that brims with emotion and a refreshing sense of honesty. Bravo."
Going Forward by Looking Back
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 02/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
Going Forward by Looking Back
"Mulligans" is something of a modern gay version of the classic Dustin Hoffman/Anne Bancroft film "The Graduate". It, like "The Graduate" is a story of coming-of-age with the extra themes of secrecy and betrayal as it looks at the modern family and life after an affair. Written by and starring Charlie Daniel (The "Bump" Series, "Dante's Cove" and "A Four Letter Word") and directed by Chip Hale, this movie is a lot of fun and one you do not want to miss. The story is simple. Tyler Davidson (Derek James) brings his friend Chase Rousseau (Charlie David) home from college with him for the summer. However, this is a summer vacation that is filled with secrets and one of them could very well tear the family apart. But there is something positive that also happens that summer--Tyler and Chase discover the meaning and importance of friendship and that it is possible to have a second chance. Tyler's family is not only the typical family (whatever that means in the 21st century) but it is also exemplary, almost perfect. When Chase arrives he is smitten by Tyler's dad, Nathan and Nathan has to struggle against his feelings for Chase in order to protect both his family and a secret about himself that he has kept hidden. However the affair between the two does not go unnoticed and as things come to light, the family is on the verge of collapse. "Mulligans" is about family but more about parents. Everything appeared to be fine in the Davidson family until Chase caused the incident that forced everyone to embark on a journey of self-discovery and even though he is the catalyst for what happens in the movie, it is not about him; it is about family. The film also deals with forgiveness and we see that it is never easy to forgive and that it can come in many different ways. We also see that the "perfect" Davidson family has its own dysfunctions and that dysfunction in the American family seems to be the norm. Perhaps the overriding theme is the universality of love and that the quest for love must begin with self-honesty. We must learn to accept people for who they are and realize that people are just that--people. The film is filled with great dialog, good actors and beautiful people. Although the story may be simple in premise, the movie is smart and funny. "
Timely, at least on one level
Jon Hunt | Old Greenwich, Ct. USA | 07/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Mulligans" an austere, tight look at gay relationships, will never be among those ground-breaking gay films, but after viewing it, the film has some merit. Granted, the acting is almost as bad as the premise, but for gay dads who find themselves coming out...well, there are plenty of them to take some notice. Written by Charlie David, the younger attraction, it shows a fair amount of promise but not much perspective. In the hands of a more seasoned writer, "Mulligans" could have had more promise.
The film is worth a look. But again, viewed from the father's point of view...the one who carries the weight of family and all the love and baggage that accompanies him... I give credit to actor Dan Payne, who plays the dad. He gives a plausible, thoughtful performance. "Mulligans" is a film that blends an awkward past with some semblance of hope for those trapped in marriages that cannot endure."