Based on a flop Broadway play, this film was made for Showtime but given a theatrical release, with not much more success than the stage version. Still, it's an intriguing idea, even if the dramaturgy tends toward the dida... more »ctic. The jumping-off point here is the scientific discovery that homosexuality is genetic--and that the gene can be detected in prenatal testing. This disrupts the Gold family, where Dad (Garry Marshall) barely tolerates the homosexuality of his son (Brendan Fraser). When pregnant daughter Jennifer Beals, who is married to a geneticist (Jon Tenney), has the test and discovers that her fetus will be gay, she triggers a family debate that pits parents (including mom Faye Dunaway) against son, raising the question of whether they would have aborted Fraser if they'd known he would be gay. Good acting can't overcome heavy-handed dialogue, though Fraser and Marshall are particularly good. --Marshall Fine« less
Brett M. (marksba) from BROOKLINE, MA Reviewed on 9/21/2010...
Quite different from the Jonathan Tolins play, but strong performances from all.
Amy R. from LOWELL, MA Reviewed on 2/4/2008...
We really enjoyed this Showtime movie. I love Brendan Fraser, the story made you think, and it wasn't a typical Hollywood ending.
Really good movie--It is a little melodramatic though.
dmt277 | Houston, TX USA | 04/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though the premise behind this movie (that scientists can test an unborn fetus for a gene that causes homosexuality) is not possible in our current scientific technology, this is still a really good movie. In the Gold Family we have the son, David-Brendan Fraser-who is gay. We have the married daughter, Suzanne-Jennifer Beals- who is pregnant with a gay baby. Her husband and her father basically want her to have an abortion. She and her mother are deeply torn over what to do. (Faye Dunaway does a really good job portraying the mother of a gay son. It is obvious that she loves her son, but his lifestyle is very disturbing to her.) Suzanne does not want David to know that she is considering having an abortion because the baby is gay, but the mother tells him anyway. This is where the major melodrama enters. Although, it is understandable that David would be upset that the members of his family are seriously considering that it would be a good thing for Suzanne to abort her baby just because he is gay--because then he has to wonder: "well would they have aborted me if they had known that I was going to end up gay." When he asks his parents what they would have done if they had known in his situation, he gets a very hurtful response from his father and an ambivalent and non-straight-forward answer from his mother. This is of course very painful for David and he basically cuts off all contact with his family at this point.Suzanne's husband comes off as the real jerk in this movie because he does not act at all sympathetic or understanding of the emotional turmoil and trauma that his wife is going through while she is trying to decide what is the best/right thing to do. The mother and father, while they are having a very hard time dealing with their son's lifestyle are still portrayed in a sympathetic manner. Suzanne is portrayed in a very realistic manner. It would be hard for any mother to deal with the knowledge that the baby she is carrying is gay--which raises what I see as being the main issue of the movie--that we should never actually develop and use this kind of technology--where we can tell whether or not a baby will be gay before it is born. This is definitely a case where ignorance is bliss, therefore, it is definitely best not to know.I just really liked this movie because it is a very thoughtful and touching movie that raises many issues that society needs to deal with. Brendan Fraser is adorable in this movie, and I also really liked his boyfriend-he was sweet and supportive."
A Good Movie With Good Acting!
H. F. Corbin | ATLANTA, GA USA | 08/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the play by Jonathan Tolins, who also wrote the screenplay for this movie, THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS grapples with this ethical question: would you abort a male fetus that science says has a 90% chance of being gay? This is the dilemma facing Jennifer Beals and her doctor husband. To further complicate matters, her only brother-- played by Brandan Fraser--is gay. When forced by Fraser to say how he stands on this heartwrenching situation, his father retorts that Fraser essentially is sick. While such a statement from any parent doesn't make for a good day for any child, gay or straight, there really are no villains here, just decent though at times misguided people struggling to do what they think is right and what they can live with. Such a plot obviously makes for real emotion, and the acting in general is superb althought I thought Faye Dunaway at times did a bit of overacting. Both Fraser and Beals give excellent performances. (The British movie director John Schlesinger has a minor part as a doctor/scientist.)"
Fraser and Dunnaway ROCK
davidissimo | Chapel Hill, NC | 11/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A terrific and touching film that addresses provocative issues of family dynamics and societal mores with substantial realism.It is also cinematically interesting: the "home-movie" effects, the digitized repetition of gestures, the evocative slow-motion work, the Wagner "opera queen" stereotyping and story-within-a-story gimmicks (although I thought the allegorical analogies were a stretch), and the play on words of the last opera with the film's own title.Highly effective characterization was provided by just about everyone involved, including the charming but relentlessly cheerful Rosie O'Donnell employer/coworker, with her sadly ironic and poignant revelation. I found the central figure of the sister quite appealing and also VERY sympathetic in her existential dilemma, and could not bring myself to loathe her husband despite his anti-gay bias because he was simply too multidimensional a human being to "demonize". In other words, he had some very good qualities to balance him out, regardless of the tediously typical American-male machismo element. Really he wasn't so bad, just your average Joe with an unaggressive aversion to queers, the hapless product of a hetero-dominated society.Frankly, this is about the best acting I've seen from Brandon Fraser and the best vehicle for his considerable abilities (all those dopey comedies, such a waste), his gay mannerisms are done with subtlety and good taste; Dunnaway is positively splendid, pithy but not overdoing the "Jewish mother". She delivers one of the best and funniest lines of her career to perfection; in 2 short sentences Mrs Gold reduces the "medical profession" to its bare essentials. I thought I would fall out of my chair!In short, highly recommended."
Fraser on his way up
H. F. Corbin | 08/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I believe that Brandan Fraser is a young actor that is on his way up. He is multi talented as being an serious actor or comedian. He proved it again in this heard breaking movie, where a family has to over come there individual sexual prefrence. It's a must see movie if you are a Fraser fan."