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Common Ground (2000)

This movie contains three short stories dealing with the theme of homosexuality. In "A Friend of Dorothy", a woman joins the Navy during the 1950's and discovers lesbianism. In "Mr. Roberts... See full summary »

Director:

Donna Deitch
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Erik Knudsen ... Young Johnny Burroughs
Brittany Murphy ... Dorothy Nelson
Jason Priestley ... Billy
Margot Kidder ... Mrs. Nelson
Helen Shaver ... Janet
Mimi Rogers ... McPherson
David Hemblen ... Chester Burroughs
Aron Tager ... Mr. Manos
Paulino Nunes ... Navy Recruiter
Brian Kerwin ... Chuck Dawson
Shirley Josephs Shirley Josephs ... Mrs. Manos
Ann Holloway Ann Holloway ... Mrs. Burgess
Patti Medwid Patti Medwid ... Mrs. Dawson
Sean O'Neill ... Barber Shop Boy
Andrew Butcher ... Barber Shop Boy
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Storyline

This movie contains three short stories dealing with the theme of homosexuality. In "A Friend of Dorothy", a woman joins the Navy during the 1950's and discovers lesbianism. In "Mr. Roberts", a teacher in a 1970's classroom struggles with his closeted gay status. Finally in "Amos and Andy", a father wrestles with his own emotional acceptance of a present day wedding between his son and another man. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Historias comunes See more »

Filming Locations:

Milton, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Dorothy presents a blue discharge to the school principal in the 1950s. Blue discharges were discontinued in 1947. Further, the principal calls it a "dishonorable" discharge. Blue discharges were neither honorable nor dishonorable; they were administrative. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Burroughs: So, OK. The bottom line seems to be our choice. We can embrace our differences, and each stand alone, or we can accept the overwhelming evidence that none of us is so very unique, and stand together, on common ground.
See more »

Connections

References Stage Door (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Maturity in a microcosm
11 April 2002 | by jharadieSee all my reviews

More than just 3 gay vignettes based in a small, patriotic New England town, Common Ground is a look at the maturing of America. Our country didn't start out instantly perfect; it's a struggle that's still ongoing. Common Ground starts its tale in the middle of the last century, where appearances are everything and even the hint of an impropriety is enough to destroy a person. This fact is poignantly made when the heroine of the first story is asked if she is a Lesbian, and she answers honestly that she doesn't know. Story two takes place in the seventies, a time when doubt and fear were very high in our society. JTT's character is attacked moreso because he is different, something that cannot be tolerated in an era of unrest, riots, and legally-sanctioned deceit. Finally, a gay marriage is to occur in the last story, but one of the gay partners wants to back out at the last moment. While the talk between that gay partner and his father (played superbly by Ed Asner) touches on many social themes and issues, it highlights the fact that individuals have more in common with others than differences.

Ironically, there's a major theme in the first two stories that, while present in the last one, is shown to be dying out. It's strange that in a country ostensibly founded on Christian principles, one of the main principles is not only to be ignored, but denied: Tell The Truth. Being gay (or perceived as such) is less than a problem than being honest about it. In stories one and two the message is given that probably any problems at all would have existed if the main characters had exerted great effort at living the life of a lie, denying the truth or any possibility of it. Even in story three we see that if the truth had only been kept hidden, problems might have been avoided. Would life have been easier? Obviously not. But these stories show that honesty and respect are less important than deceit.

(note: the following paragraph discusses the movie's ending) That this movie centers around a war memorial is especially important to me. Through the centuries, countless Americans have deemed it necessary to fight (and die) to protect freedom. They struggled to preserve a freedom that we are still struggling to ensure to all Americans. I was glad that the movie didn't insult those efforts with a "life is perfect now and will be happily ever after" ending. Yes, the ending was pleasant, but it was also honest.


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