Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Canada, 2007. Scot Pictures. Screenplay by Sean Reycraft, based on the novel by Michael Downing. Cinematography by David A. Makin. Produced by Paul Brown, Howard Rosenman. Music by Robert Carli. Production Design by Tamara Deverell. Costume Design by Randi Littlefair, Alex Reda. Film Editing by Susan Shipton.
Former NHL hockey player Tom Cavanagh left the game five years ago after a physical injury and a bruised ego took him off the rink. Now a sportscaster for a big network, he is adamant about keeping the fact that he’s gay a secret, but he won’t be able to for long: his boyfriend (Ben Shenkman) has just found out that a little orphaned boy has been left in the custody of Shenkman’s no-account brother, and until the legal guardian can be tracked down, these two need to watch after the kid.
What arrives in their home is a delightfully dizzy child with a penchant for makeup and fine clothes and an overwhelming desire to constantly sing Christmas songs. Cavanaugh wants to toughen the kid up in order to help him avoid getting beaten up at school, but he eventually realizes that what he’s actually doing is dealing with his own inner homophobia.
A thorough heartwarmer, this one loses its ground a bit in the end where it abandons its rollicking good comedy for feel-good schmaltz, but it’s still charming. The performers are all wonderful and perfectly cast, and the screenplay is wise and witty throughout. Look for cameos by Megan Follows, Sheila McCarthy and Graham Greene.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2007