a film by Chip Hale
2008 | 92 mins | Canada
›› Mulligans
coming out and coming onto your son's best friend!
Mulligans by Chip Hale Sometimes Canadian cinema strays from the conventional path and whilst this emotive work from director Chip Hale does not walk on incestuous ground, its subject matter is still not as homely as Mom's Apple Pie!

For this is a summer that the Davidson family will never forget. Not that they thought it would end that way, when son Tyler returned home from college with his best friend Chase to spend their days divided between earning some extra cash working on the golf course and along the way, improving their handicap on it. That is, when not out partying fraternity style, downing the beers real quick and renewing old romances. Only with Tyler intent of setting Chase up with one of the local girls, it isn't long before Chase utters those all important "listen I should have told you this a long time ago" words - and we all know what's coming next! Shocked by his best friend being gay, but seemingly cool about it, life goes on. Only not in the way Tyler figured. For with news of Chase's homosexuality spreading like wildfire, it isn't long before Tyler's hunky father Nathan appears to be more at ease in Chase's company, than with his wife Stacey. Now surely college jock and sexy dad are not going to get it on? They wouldn't - would they?

Mulligans by Chip Hale Yes you're guessed it. For this is a film that explores the repercussions of revelations, as sexual landmines shatter the relationships between close friends, father and son, let alone husband and wife. Not that the theme of a husbands' suppressed sexuality is anything new and here cue the 1982 feature Making Love. But that said, coming out and coming onto your son's best friend is certainly a different, if 'Mr Davidson, you're trying to seduce me, aren't you' cinematic path to take.

Only just as Derek James as son Tyler is every inch the blond jock of the piece, here writer and actor Charlie (Dante's Cove) David has cast himself as the gay catalyst. To that end, Dan Payne as loving husband Nathan gives a sensitive depiction of a man forced to confront the burgeoning nature of his sexuality, even if cast wise, he appears too young a father, just as the boys appear too old for students. That said, Thea Gill shines as a wife and mother desperately trying to get a grip on a difficult situation for the sake of her daughter Birdy, namely Tyler's just too cute to mention little sister and a girl who in Grace Vukovic's hands, is wise-beyond-her-years.

Well-shot throughout and complete with an uplifting score, the end result whilst high on predictability and laced with one too many coincidences, still packs a punch on the repressed sexuality stakes, even if you have to question how come Tyler didn't realise Chase is gay, when liberal minded jocks have already cottoned onto the fact, minutes upon his arrival in town.

Filmed in Vancouver Island, Canada with breathtaking cinematography from Alice Brooks, this controversial coming out work thankfully does not conclude with a fairytale ending, preferring instead to illustrate the repercussions on others on being true, albeit in mid-life, to thyself. Only in bursting with latent homosexuality, you cannot help but feel that a bit more grit in the mix, would have made for more concrete foundations. That said and to his credit, Charlie David has placed the spotlight on those who even in this day and age, are still living under the guise of marriage, for the sake of social conformity. Consequently this marks a poignant piece on an all too real subject, for all too many gay men. Need more be said?
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue
starring: Dan Payne, Thea Gill, Charlie David, Derek James, Grace Vukovic, Amy Matysio, Nhi Do,
Anthony Joseph, Calum Worthy, Patrick Baynham and Ann Chaland as Grandma
Copyright 2009 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #228
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