The difference between “their sons” and Our Sons … our sons are gay. Our worlds are separated by more than miles, they are separated by stringent beliefs and prejudice.
In San Diego, Audrey Grant accepts her son for what he is and the life he has chosen. She is quietly supportive of him although she seldom includes his lover, Donald, in her circle. Now Donald is dying from AIDS and Audrey learns truths about him that never occurred to her before, simply because she never bothered to ask. She also learns truths about herself that she isn’t entirely comfortable with.
Audrey is a successful businesswoman. She leads an affluent lifestyle, surrounded by the wealth she has accumulated through her profession. She lives alone, not entirely estranged from her son James, but not as close as she had hoped they would be.
In Fayetteville, Arkansas, Luanne Barnes leads an completely different life. Entombed in a single-wide trailer [definitely not a mobile home], she holds a mundane job as a waitress at the local bar. She’s a bit rowdy, not soft spoken, brutally truthful. Her son is Donald. She has not spoken to him for over a dozen years ever since he told her he was gay and she threw him out at age 17. She isn’t aware he has become a brilliant and successful architect. She isn’t aware he has a loving relationship with James. She isn’t aware he is dying of AIDS.
James asks his mother, Audrey, to make the ultimate sacrifice and go to Donald’s mother and try to win her over.
We are predisposed to dislike Luanne from the beginning and our love didn’t kindle at first meeting either. On second look we realize, because of her honesty, she is probably the more truthful of the two women because she didn’t mask her feelings behind a false face. Perhaps her reaction was harsher than we like, but you couldn’t deny she told the truth. Audrey, on the other hand, is the accepting mother. Doing all the right things to welcome her gay son into her home while hiding true feelings that simmer under the surface.
Casting couldn’t have been better than Julie Andrews as the prim, proper, and successful Audrey. She just exuded confidence from every pore. Ann-Margaret was given the role of Luanne, which, oddly enough, seemed to suit her completely. I’m not saying she is trailer trash in real life, but you had no problem believing her part in this role.
Hugh Grant played the part of James. I think he must be rather boorish in real life, he always seems so plodding in his parts. Rather a beige person, I believe. Of course I know he has made the headlines over the years but I think, in most circumstances, he would be a person you wouldn’t notice in a crowded room, a boring sort. A really decent job was done by Zeljko Ivanek as Donald. Much better, even in his bedridden part, than Hugh Grant.
The film was directed by John Erman, no awards, no rating. Written by William Hanley from the documentary “Too Little, Too Late” by Micki Dickoff.
A good study of characterization by the participants and the narrow minds of some.
This qualifies for the Lean-N-Mean VIII
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