Just got back from the first night of the three day Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and we enjoyed a thoroughly hilarious new film from Director Keith Hartman: “You Should Meet My Son.”
Shot in 18 days after three years of cast selection, the film is the story of a mother with a penchant for setting up her closeted gay son with a series of female suitors at their Sunday night dinners together. This despite the fact that he brings his gay “roommate” to dinner each week.
The film is anchored by the two wonderful leads, Joanne McGee, who plays the meddling mother, Mae, and Carol Goans, a real find as Aunt Rose, a zany comedic actress who finds validation in her first visit to the town’s local gay bar.
Reminiscent (in a good way) of The Birdcage, “You Should Meet My Son” keeps a lighthearted tone as the two women discover Mae’s son Brian is gay, coming to terms with the fact and embarking on a quest to find him a new “roommate” after his partner dumps him for another man.
The film is full of laugh-out-loud sequences, and a bustling Crest Theater crowd laughed almost continuously during the film, so much so that succeeding lines were often drowned out by laughter. I haven’t laughed out loud at a film this much in years.
Especially priceless is the scene where the two women “discover” the internet.
After the show, the director and five of the actors, including (disappointingly straight) actor Stewart Carrico, who played the son, Brian, hosted a Q&A with the audience, talking about the long pre-production process (looking for the right pair to play Mae and Rose) and the great atmosphere that all the cast enjoyed together on the set. Asked if any of the cast were on Manhunt, the director politely declined to answer: “My Mother might be watching this,” he deferred with a winning grin.
The film also owes a debt to the camp classic Auntie Mame, something most of the cast members were familiar with except for the sweet-but-straight Stewart. But he acknowledged his ignorance with a good-natured smile.
If you’re in the Sacramento Area, there are still tickets available for the last two nights of the Festival… tonight, “A Marine Story” tells the story of a female Marine outed by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and has been battling it out at film festivals across the US for awards with “You Should Meet My Son”.
You can still catch “You Should Meet My Son” on the film festival circuit:
October 9th: Out at the Movies: Winston-Salem, NC
October 15th: Image Out: Rochester, NY
October: Tampa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: Tampa, FL
and they’re taking pre-orders for the DVD, planned for a July 2011 release, at:
There were also two great shorts last night: “Zucht” (Breath), a sweet film from the Netherlands about a gay boy with a little crush on his friend’s father, and “Waiting 4 Goliath”, about who shoes up when a gay man goes to meet an internet date at a local coffee shop. Both were well done, raising our hopes for tonight, night two of the film festival. Get down to the Crest if you can!
–J. Scott Coatsworth
Gay Marriage Watch