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When Suzanne Stein has a genetic analysis done on her unborn child, she discovers that although she has a healthy baby, the child will most likely be born gay, like her brother, David. She must decide whether to keep the child, or to have an abortion. Her family enters a crisis about love and acceptance as she makes this difficult choice. Written by
This bold, worrying dramatic comedy embarks upon the concern of a thus far fictional form of genetic testing that would ascertain the sexual orientation, among other things of course, of an unborn child. When Suzanne Gold-Stein, played by the beautiful Jennifer Beals, is told by her disconcerted husband that their son is destined to be gay, she contemplates aborting the fetus, much to the pent-up rage and panic of her gay brother, a normally happy-go- lucky creative whose sexual orientation has never been completely accepted and certainly never embraced by the Gold family.
The story gallantly hits on the nature and wrongful persecution of homosexuals. Early in the story, one can hardly believe how dramatic the Gold family's reaction is when the genetic discovery is made, how they can hardly say the word "gay," something one of their own flesh and blood naturally is. It's a very scary story, one that threatens humanity with itself, knowingly projecting a nightmarish perception of what may come when we truly make a technological breakthrough that actually benefits civilization, telling a fortunate story of a mere handful of characters who learn true acceptance, and not all of them do, for it just might be hopeless to end the neverending, inexplicable prejudice that plagues our progression and co-existence.
When a pastor, for instance, claims that if everyone were gay, there would be no society, he must also reflect upon the idea that if everyone were a pastor, there would be no society due to the vow of chastity. In fact, if everyone had in common any sort of orientation, there would be no society because everyone would be essentially the same. That is what is so scary about the film's suggested prediction of genetic testing for pregnancy. If people can successfully and knowingly avoid having gay, biracial, handicapped, autistic, or any other sort of a parent's less than preferable idea of a baby, society will slowly disappear.
To deny not only the rights and acceptance of homosexuals, but to also deny them existence, is to deny those of the countless gay and bi people of notoriety who've contributed so much to culture: social reformer Jane Addams, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, writers Edward Albee, James Baldwin, Alan Ball, Djuna Barnes, Alan Bennett, William S. Burroughs, Samuel Butler, Truman Capote, Noel Coward, Hart Crane, Quentin Crisp, Michael Cunningham, E.M. Forster, Michel Foucault, Nigel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Tennessee Williams, painters Francis Bacon, Jean-Michael Basquiat, filmmakers Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar, Kenneth Anger, Marcel Carné, Jean Cocteau, George Cukor, Sergei Eisenstein, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Todd Haynes, James Ivory, Gus Van Sant, costume designer Edith Head, singers Melissa Etheridge, Billie Holiday, actors Mario Cantone, Rupert Everett, Harvey Fierstein, Stephen Fry, Nathan Lane, Charles Laughton, Anthony Rapp, composers Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Francis Poulenc, Stephen Sondheim, Tchaikovsky, actresses Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Cherry Jones, Jodie Foster, Mayor of West Hollywood John Duran, et cetera. The more we "straight" people socialize with, give birth to, and acknowledge the historically positive effect of homosexuals, there will be more of a face given to the gay, bisexual, and lesbian community. We will see that they are of the same nature, fears, and hardships as the rest of us. The movie's hypothesis scares me that that face could be taken away.
If only this incredible story had been supplied with a stronger sense of production value. It feels like a TV movie. It isn't given any atmosphere or visceral power, which would have done wonders for it. The cast is great, most memorably Brendan Fraser, although Faye Dunaway is miscast. She does not seem at home in her role as Fraser's mother. It seems more of an Anne Bancroft role, for instance. The constant use of David Bowie's Under Pressure on the soundtrack seems exchangeable with so many other pop songs, the camera-work is simple point-and-shoot lack of precision and if certain things like that were given more attention, this could have been a really great film.
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