Sharp-as-a-tack high school senior Dorian (Jon McMillian) can't wait to leave his claustrophobic upstate New York town and start college at NYU. He'll be leaving behind his dumb jock younger brother Nicky (Lea Coco); his father (Charles Fletcher), who apparently learned parenting from The Great Santini; and his weak-willed and mostly silent mother (Mo Quigley), who cowers under her husband's bombast.
Dorian has slowly realized he's gay, but he doesn't want to be, so he has a few funny sessions with a psychotherapist who insists he confront his father with the truth. First, though, he tells Nicky, and in one of the film's interesting little surprises, Nicky turns into a supportive sibling, at least in his own way. His solution is to help Dorian be more macho, taking him down to the basement for fighting lessons. When that fails, a priest turns Dorian into a holy roller, encouraging him to look to the Bible for answers. That doesn't work well, either.
In the movie's nuttiest scene, Nicky takes Dorian to a stripper/hooker (Ryan Kelly Berkowitz) with a heart of gold ("I like her shoes," says Dorian), but rather than get busy losing his virginity, Dorian encourages her to show off her amazing vocal impersonations (she does a killer Billie Holiday and Patsy Cline), and then she gives him a swing dancing lesson, making the point that it's up to you to make yourself feel good.
After a fairly typical coming-out scene where Dad throws Dorian out, Dorian heads to New York for college early (you can tell that writer/director/producer Tennyson Bardwell is on a tight budget because he tries to use Albany as a substitute for Greenwich Village) and starts making up for lost time, hitting the bars and eventually ending up with a concussion when a tweaky leather daddy with a football fetish tackles him in a scene that goes from funny to scary very quickly. Frightened into better behavior, Dorian settles into college life and tries to land a safer boyfriend as the college years pass.
Through Dorian's ups and downs it's Nicky, now a Syracuse University quarterback, who turns out to be his most consistent supporter, in part because the two share the unique bond of having been raised by a true son of a bitch. Dorian will eventually come to terms with his father and even accept his mother's somewhat predicable pronouncement that "you're just like your father in so many ways."
One of the biggest glitches in Dorian Blues is that the casting of the two leads is off the mark. McMillian and Coco are both excellent, but they are way too old to play characters who are supposed to be teenagers. In fact, Coco looks so old that he may remind you of Stockard Channing in Grease. What's this 35-year-old doing in high school? Get past that, however, and Dorian Blues is a fun and satisfying -- if not truly groundbreaking -- look at a tough subject: how to truly accept yourself in a world that may not want to accept you.
Blue man group.
Run time: 88 mins
In Theaters: Thursday 28th September 2006
Distributed by: TLA Releasing
Production compaines: TLA Releasing, Day Dreamer Films
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 8
IMDB: 6.9 / 10
Director: Tennyson Bardwell
Producer: Tennyson Bardwell, Frank D'Andrea, Portia Kamons, Mary-Beth Taylor
Screenwriter: Tennyson Bardwell
Starring: Michael McMillen as Dorian Lagatos, Lea Coco as Nicky Lagatos, Steve Fletcher as Tom Lagatos, Mo Quigley as Maria Lagatos