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Surprise, Surprise (2010)

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A closeted TV star and his recently disabled, much younger lover find the older man has a troubled, streetwise, 15-year-old homophobic son he never knew existed to add to their already strained household.




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Cast overview:
Den Jorgensen
Junie Hannah
Colin Alexandre
David Brand (as Lucas Elliot)
Jason Aaron
Winnie Blythman


Beginning as a critically-acclaimed play and based on a true story, Surprise Surprise is a moving and unpredictable portrait of a closeted TV star, his much younger disabled lover, and the troubled teenage son he never knew he had. Infused with dark humor and set behind the doors of a secluded home in Malibu, Den Jorgensen's seemingly idyllic life is permanently altered when his son David, a swaggering 15-year-old homophobe, unexpectedly arrives at his doorstep. David's arrival forces Den to confront his already problematic relationship and, eventually, all three are compelled to join together to redefine the concept of what constitutes a family. Written by Travis Michael Holder

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

31 August 2010 (USA)  »

Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When characters hug, the sound becomes muffled, revealing they're relying on lapel mics. See more »


Den Jorgensen: Son, if there's one thing I've learned in life it's "Behind every dark cloud... there's another cloud."
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User Reviews

A fling at heterosexuality
23 November 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

37 years before Surprise Surprise came out one of the first gay themed movies about a gay dad came out on television. That Certain Summer starred Hal Holbrook and Martin Sheen as a gay couple who have to make adjustments that would normally not be made today. In the Holbrook film, his son Scott Jacoby comes for a visit and Holbrook has never come out to him nor has his mother Hope Lange. Sheen though he's most definitely not cool with the idea agrees to temporarily move out of his house so that Jacoby can stay there in blissful ignorance about his father's true sexuality.

Times have changed when Travis Michael Holder gets a knock on his door from Lucas Eberl saying I'm your soon to be 16 year old son. The product of a fling at heterosexuality that this closeted TV star had back in the day, Eberl brings back some memories. His maternal grandmother works at the studio as well and knows about Holder and his partner John Brotherton. Time for Eberl to find out about the facts of his life. Which he's not terribly cool with, but his mother is dying and this may be the only parent he'll have left.

One thing is clear though Brotherton is in no way going to move out of his house to keep Eberl in a homophobic cocoon. Brotherton himself is going through some issues. He's a dancer who sustained an injury that could be career ending. But he won't take the trouble to find out which is driving Holder a bit nuts.

The climax scene involves Eberl and Brotherton who though Holder is in the closet because his network wants it that way, the really wounded people are Brotherton and Eberl. A really well done revelatory piece of acting from both.

And this review is dedicated to the late Kim Sherwood, a dear friend who was lost in the AIDS plague as was his partner Paul Pastorella. Kim was a dancer who broke his leg and that ended his career. But Kim learned the makeup trade and made a good living at it. Watching Brotherton tell about how his dream of dancing was smashed put me in mind of Kim. A wonderful human being and life of every party he was at, I miss him to this day.

Surprise Surprise I recommend highly to gay audiences especially young gay audiences.

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