Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 2009. Guest House Films. Screenplay by Rob Williams. Cinematography by Ian McGlocklin. Produced by Rodney Johnson, Matthew Montgomery, Rob Williams. Music by Austin Wintory. Production Design by J.T. Tepnapa. Film Editing by Denise Howard. Podcast: Bad Gay Movies.
Olaf isn’t looking forward to leaving his college boyfriend Nathan and going home for the holidays as his wacky midwest family is still trying to set him up with the girl next door. Things get even more awkward when Nathan shows up at his door because his family didn’t include him in their vacation plans and he needs somewhere to spend the holidays. What should be a heartwarming La Cage Aux Folles is a mess of poor direction and even worse comedic timing as these two pass themselves off as roommates for two loony caricatures of heteronormativity played by actors too young and too obviously not square in the roles of Olaf’s parents. The story at the centre, of a young man terrified of losing his family’s love, actually has some touching moments thanks to able performances by Keith Jordan and Adamo Ruggiero as the couple in question, but the desire to get groan-worthy laughs from the spoofy humour blends in poorly with the film’s attempts at sincerity, resulting in something that just never knows what it is doing. Its most delightful element is the appearance of Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), as a social climbing neighbour.