Dorian Blues

Dorian Blues is one of those newer waved gay-themed films that tones down the attitude and focuses more on feelings and humor. The chip on the shoulder is still there, but nowhere as large as it can be. The one problem is that there is nothing in Dorian Blues that has not been seen or done before, but the characters are charming and have a certain likeability that causes those viewing to overlook the plot, which can be a bit thin at times. Writer/director Tennyson Bardwell worked with a bare-bones budget, and this is also very obvious. But like the plot, the characters are likable enough to overlook this.

Tennyson starts the film with a quick life story recap of Dorian Lagatos (Michael McMillian). His father Tom (Steven C. Fletcher) is a strict conservative disciplinarian and runs his household like the military. His mother Maria (Mo Quigley) seems blissfully unaware of most everything around her. Worst is Dorian's brother Nicky (Lea Coco), the high school alpha male. Nicky is great at football, gets all the hottest women, is highly homophobic, and is the apple of Tom's eye. In other words, he is the exact opposite of Dorian. Still, once Dorian realizes his sexual orientation, Nicky is the first person he confides in. Oddly enough, the Nicky character is the most interesting because of his reaction. It is surprisingly tolerant (after some quirky reactions of course), not what one would expect given Nicky's character.

They decide to keep it a secret from their parents. Nicky tries to tell them a few times, but something always gets in the way. He goes to college and things get a little better. In high school he felt like a complete outcast. Now he has friends, and soon begins dating Ben (Cody Nickell). In Dorian Blues' funniest scene, Dorian meets Ben's parents. Like pretty much everything else, it does not go as expected. Bardwell has less a movie and more an extended series of connected vignettes. All deal with how Dorian deals with his sexuality, and his desire to tell people. McMillian plays Dorian as slightly neurotic, yet pretty easygoing. It is his performance and the Dorian character that spurs the viewer to keep watching the film since everybody wants the best for him. Dorian goes through all the typical hurdles that one would expect from a film with this theme. But near the end, Tennyson throws in a plot point that takes the easy way out of one of the central conflicts of the film.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 23 minutes, Not Rated but contains some language, most likely a PG-13, possibly an R.

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