Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Sunday 10th October 2004
Distributed by: Wolfe Video
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
IMDB: 6.5 / 10
Outing Riley Review
Bobby Riley (Jones) is pretty much OK with who he is, telling us this directly as he narrates his own tale. When his father dies, he wonders if now is the time to tell his siblings he's gay. His sister Maggie (Julie R. Pearl) already knows and is tired of keeping his secret, but how will his three brothers -- pot-smoking Connor (Stoney Westmoreland), porn-addicted Luke (Nathan Fillion), and priest Father Jack (Dev Kennedy) -- react?
Bobby's boyfriend Andy (MICHAEL MCDONALD) has been patient, but he too wonders what Bobby is waiting for. Time and time again Bobby comes close to making the revelation, but he worries that his macho, married, beer-drinking, Cubs-loving brothers may not take the news well. As for Jack the priest, the constant butt of altar-boy jokes hurled at him by his brothers, his strict adherence to Catholic dogma also presents a problem.
Unlike most coming-out sagas, this film isn't about Bobby's melodramatic torment. It's more about his embarrassment and the inconvenience of it all. He often turns to the camera and points out to us how silly this all is. Such a bother. At one point, we spot the furry tip of a boom microphone drop into the frame. Then it happens again. Oops, a filming error? No. Bobby sees it too, grabs it, pulls it down, then corrals the boom mike operator and asks him for his thoughts on love and life. The guy's stunned response: "Um, I'm not supposed to be talking here." It's a great moment.
Of course the beans must eventually be spilled, and Bobby's revelation sets off a chain reaction of other family revelations that ultimately help all the siblings grow closer. It's kind of like Secrets and Lies but without all the crying. As long as they have their senses of humor and their beers, the Riley family will be fine. A tip of the Cubs cap to Jones for approaching what is usually a lugubrious topic with wit and a light heart.