a heartwarming feature on adopting a child, gay style.
Moving into a new neighbourhood is never easy, not least when you’re a happily married gay couple facing the sexual prejudice of kids only to eager to hurl abuse at anyone or anything that lies outside of the suburban norm. Yet proud partners Göran and Sven have more pressing concerns on their minds; namely their desire to adopt a child. Having successfully gone through the clearance process and fitted a nursery out along the way, they are delighted when the big day finally arrives, only for it to rain on their parade when the child of their 1.5 year dreams turns out to be a troubled fifteen-year-old teen, courtesy of a typing error. With the adoption agency closed for a long weekend and the police unwilling to help, Göran and Sven seemingly have no option left but to take Patrik into their temporary care. Only will their relationship last the test of time, when faced with a homophobic teenager with attitude?
As far removed from the nightclub beat of urban life as you could get, this heartwarming feature is as pleasing, as it is an emotional rollercoaster ride on the ups and downs of adopting a child, gay style. For here writer and director Ella Lemhagen has crafted a tale, more drama than comedy, from the play by Michael Druker, that shines the spotlight on the value of parental love.
To that end, Torkel Petersson as Sven plays the scenario to an emotional tee, being ill at ease to adopt a child by way of his estranged relationship with his ex wife and Goth styled daughter. Only it is Tom Ljungman as Patrik who takes centre stage here, his homophobe with a violent history character being one that you know is guaranteed to change for the better before the end credits roll, even if his performance is but part of sparkling double act between him and Gustaf Skarsgård as Göran; splendid as a family doctor longing for a family of his own.
Complete with a Tanya Tucker country backed soundtrack, laced with a series of somewhat predictable, if enjoyable twists and located in an idyllic neighbourhood straight out of A Single Man territory and here cue a lot of gardening, this beautifully executed work is one of the best gay themed films to come out of Sweden in a long time. Frankly, need more be said?
Gay Visibility - tender affectionate style.
Nudity - strictly from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 4 stars.
screened as part of the 23rd London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2009
starring: Gustaf Skarsgård, Torkel Petersson, Tom Ljungman, Amanda Davin, Annika Hallin, Jacob Ericksson,
Anette Sevreus, Mats Blomgren, Malin Cederbladh, Antti Reini, Mirja Burlin, Vilde Helmerson,
Patrik Rydmark, Anders Lönnbro, Anna Wallander and Åsa-Lena Hjelm