Gay fatherhood.is portrayed in the following “oldies” you can stream at home. (Check with Amazon Prime, among other sources.)
I. In the Family (2012)
From IMDB about Patrick Wang‘s In the Family:
In the town of Martin, Tennessee, Chip Hines, a precocious six year old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody’s will reveals that he named his sister as Chip’s guardian. The years of Joey’s acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and closer to his son.
In most of the following unusual trailer, while seeing the various characters interact, what we hear is a voiceover from Joey’s new lawyer:
Roger Ebert: “What a courageous first feature this is, a film that sidesteps shopworn stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story about doing the right thing. It is a film that avoids any message or statement and simply shows us, with infinite sympathy, how the life of a completely original character can help us lead our own.”
II. Any Day Now (2012)
Any Day Now, inspired by real events involving gay fatherhood, was written by director Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom. From the website’s description:
Winner of 10 Audience Awards at film festivals around the country…ANY DAY NOW is a powerful tale of love, acceptance and family. When a teenager with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva) is abandoned by his mother, a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) takes him in and becomes the loving family he’s never had. But when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men are forced to fight a biased legal system to save the life of the child they have come to love as their own.
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: “Powerful! Superb! Depictions of custody battles have become a cinematic staple, but few register with the heartfelt emotion of Any Day Now.”
Ella Taylor, NPR:
It would take a heart of stone — or zero tolerance for soap — to resist Any Day Now, a full-throttle weepie about a West Hollywood gay couple trying to adopt a neglected boy with Down syndrome.
Melissa Anderson, Village Voice:
Straining for ‘teachable moments,’ the film has one noteworthy, unintentional function: to remind us that though LGBT rights are continually evolving, the laws of kitsch remain immutable.
So…Kitschy or not so kitschy? Here’s the trailer:
III. Beginners (2011)
The semi-autobiographical (written and directed by Mike Mills) and award-winning dramedy Beginners is the sweet story of a 38-year-old man named Oliver (Ewan McGregor) who’s dealing with both the recent death of his father (Christopher Plummer in a highly praised performance) and the difficulties of finding romantic love that lasts.
- Oliver gets a fresh chance to try romance again when, dressed as a Freud lookalike at a costume party, he meets Anna (Mélanie Laurent), who becomes his mock “patient.”
- Oliver takes in Arthur, his father’s adorable Jack Russell terrier who’s enchantingly capable of revealing some of his thoughts to us.
- Hal, Oliver’s dad, is seen in flashbacks coming out as gay at the age of 75, after his wife has died. A restart of sorts for both him and his son.
Below, the trailer:
David Edelstein, New York Magazine: “Mike Mills’s marvelously inventive romantic comedy Beginners is pickled in sadness, loss, and the belief that humans (especially when they mate) are stunted by their parents’ buried secrets, their own genetic makeup, and our sometimes-sociopathic social norms.”