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Monday, April 03, 2006

Dorian Blues

Review by Duane Simolke, author of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, for This Week In Texas.

Dorian Blues demands that viewers love it. This movie deals openly with hatred and self-hatred, yet keeps coming up with silly situations and lovable characters. It all happens with a frantic momentum, taking the audience through young Dorian’s journey of self-acceptance as well as his struggle to find both a lasting romantic relationship and a better family relationship. His futile attempts at de-gaying himself provide laughs, but will also touch on some painful memories for many gay viewers.

Michael McMillian (TV’s What I Like About You) charms relentlessly as Dorian Lagatos, a self-titled “stereotypical gay” who lives in an anti-gay home, with a cartoon-like reactionary father, an annoyingly passive mother, and an all-American jock brother. His high school proves even more hostile toward gays, so Dorian rejoices when he finally escapes to New York City.

Inspired by his first openly gay friend, writer/director/producer Tennyson Bardwell made a likeable coming out story. And while the genre seems done to death, he gives it new life. He also chose good actors for all the parts, except that Nicky Lagatos (Lea Coco) looks much older than his older brother Dorian.

While the humor and the colorful cast propel the movie, some of the best scenes involve Dorian quietly talking to just one of the other characters. Still, it comes back to the comedy, and I hope Michael McMillian will find more good roles for his comedic talent.