It’s a little ironic that a movie about the importance of being different is so derivative of other ethnic comedies, such a sitcom-ish would-be “Son of My Big Fat Greek Wedding Only This Time About Gay Italians in Canada.”
There are some funny and even touching moments in this story of the gay son of a loving but suffocating Italian family. The problem is that it is such an over-the-top ethnic caricature, everyone constantly screaming or eating or both at once, while waving their hands and slapping family members on the back of the head.
Travel agency employee and would-be-writer Angelo (Luke Kirby) lives with his parents because in his community, “we leave the house one of two ways, married or dead.” Angelo is gay, but does not feel that he can tell anyone. He says he feels that every day he loses bits and pieces of himself.
He insists on moving into an apartment. Then, when he reconnects with his best childhood friend Nino (Peter Miller), now a gorgeous cop, they become lovers and roommates. Angelo would be completely happy except that while Nino insists that no one can know about their relationship, Angelo wants to let his parents know who he really is.
The result is an uneven mix of wild farce and coming out story. Kirby’s doe eyes are appealing and we want Angelo to find love and acceptance. But it is all too derivative and formulaic to seem as authentic as the story deserves. In the movie, someone tells Angelo what all aspiring writers need to hear — that he should write about what he knows instead of about what he thinks is exciting or marketable. The people behind this movie should have listened to that advice.
Parents should know that the movie has strong language, drinking and prescription drug abuse, a brief shot of a dead body in a casket, and explicit sexual references and non-graphic situations.
Families who see this movie should talk about whether it is all right for anyone, even members of a particular ethnic group, to caricature that group as much as this movie does. Why did Angelo have to be honest about himself before he could make his dreams of finding love and becoming a writer come true? They should talk about “active listening” and when it can be helpful. Why did Angelo’s family care so much about what other people would think?
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Moonstruck and Outrageous.