Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-03-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

The Hammer
Playwright: Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews. At: House Theatre of Chicago at ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

The Perfect Family; Dark Shadows; The Dictator; film notes
by Sawyer J. Lahr

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

In The Perfect Family, gay icon Kathleen Turner is hilarious as Eileen Clearly, an obsequious Irish mother vying for the honor of Catholic Woman of the Year. This family-oriented, gay-friendly film is director Anne Renton's debut feature following her short film Love is Love, starring Emmy winner Jane Lynch ( Glee ) .

Turner memorably starred in John Water's Serial Mom. Here, she plays a quirky, nervous nelly type whose joyous devotion to the church is tested when she must come clean to the nominating committee and the monsignor—veteran gay actor Richard Chamberlain, once the heartthrob Dr. Kildare in the '60s as well as '80s miniseries such as The Thorn Birds. Turner's talent for physical comedy reaches its full potential as she selfishly tries to conceal her wayward son Frank, Jr. ( Jason Ritter ) and lesbian daughter Shannon ( Emily Deschanel ) in the hope of winning the title.

Squaring off against her primary-school rival, Agnes ( Sharon Lawrence, Desperate Housewives ) , Eileen does a very un-Christian thing by telling a cockamamie story about her model family, all in order to receive the prayer of absolution from the bishop of Dublin, who's visiting the small town to honor the chosen woman.

When her daughter breaks the news that she's a lesbian and carrying a child, Eileen denies it outright. "It's not funny," she says. Despite Eileen's refusal to discuss the matter, the story does lay some guilt on Shannon for holding back the truth for so long. Mothers like Eileen should be given medals just for trying to understand. Turner plays out the traumatizing coming-out dinner with incredible fortitude. She portrays a complex Christian woman trying to hold onto the moral convictions conflicting with her motherly love.

This inspired screenplay, by Claire V. Riley and Paula Goldberg ( Out at the Wedding, Traveling Companion, MTV's Undressed ) , is one of the most affirming stories of a mother's transformation when faced with the opportunity to accept or deny her daughter's homosexuality. Eileen's true test comes when she is asked to sign a church petition to lobby against gay adoption in the state. Only one parishioner speaks out against wasting the Church's time on these issues. Eileen looks around at the women at the table who have signed the petition. Here's where the filmmakers rip your heart out, yet maintain our sympathy for Eileen's tangible dilemma. I could feel her heart and mine crushing at the sound of the pen signing her name to a piece of paper making a political denouncement of her daughter's right to raise a child.

Renton and the writers take the plot in a rosy direction that is not always a reality for many LGBTQIA people, but it is the case for some. I tend to think that life-affirming stories about family acceptance in this regard are cheesy, but this one isn't. It's not fair to mislead audiences that all parents accept their queer children wholeheartedly. Turner carries herself with constant trepidation, especially at her daughter's commitment ceremony—where she squirms in her seat before bursting down the aisle and crashing into a tray of champagne. As if the hijinks weren't enough, Angela's mother lends Eileen a blinged-out burgundy tracksuit with "HOT" sewn in sequins across the butt of the pants. Opens May 11 at AMC River East 21


From the all-star producers and designers behind the Tim Burton legacy and the Johnny Depp empire comes Burton's next ambitious project, Dark Shadows, bringing together Oscar winner Richard D. Zanuck ( Alice in Wonderland, Driving Miss Daisy, Jaws ) , Oscar winner Graham King, ( Rango, The Departed ) , Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski ( Rum Diary ) and David Kennedy, a partner of Dan Curtis, creator of the Dark Shadows TV series on ABC from 1966-1971.

A fan of the original vampire mystery, producer Johnny Depp eagerly took the role of Barnabas Collins, the young playboy heir to a fishing empire on the coast of Maine in the 1770s. His business savvy fails to save him from falling in love with Josette DuPres ( Bella Heathcote ) and breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard ( Eva Green ) , a witch who turns Collins into a vampire and buries him alive for two centuries. Collins wakes up in 1972 to a very changed world and his family estate, Collinwood Manor, in shambles. He goes about restoring the failing family business, entrusting his true identity only to Elizabeth Collins Stoddard ( Michelle Pfeiffer ) under the auspices of live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman ( Helena Bonham Carter ) . The latter must be a hilarious interaction considering psychoanalysis had its birth in the late 1800s. The revered four-time Oscar nominated Danny Elfman rejoined Burton evoke the spirit of the original TV series and '70s horror flicks. Elfman has scored for Milk and Good Will Hunting, two films by gay director Gus Van Sant. Christopher Lee ( The Hobbit, Hugo, Star Wars ) , Jonny Lee Miller ( Trainspotting ) and musician Alice Cooper make appearances. Opens May 11

The Dictator is Sacha Baron Cohen's third major anthropological experiment in offending everyone, once again, after playing the scandalous gay Austrian television host Bruno. During a Bruno publicity stunt at a Prop 8 rally in Los Angeles, Cohen's crew assaulted gay director Mike Stiff ( Kink Crusaders ) , who is now making a film about unethical filmmaking entitled The Bruno Project. This time, Cohen plays a Col. Gaddafi-like dictator who does everything in his power to suppress the demand for democracy in his country. Few details have been released about the film prior to the release on May 16.

Film notes:

Husband to Judy Garland and father to Liza Minnelli, gay director Vincent Minnelli's Lust for Life ( 1956 ) plays twice at Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., as part of a tribute to the late Anthony Quinn, who was an Oscar-winning actor, former School of the Art Institute of Chicago student and apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. Shows Saturday, May 19, 3 p.m. and Thursday, May 24, 6 p.m.

—Almost There, a film by gay professor, scholar and writer Dan Rybicky will be screened as a work in progress for the annual Kartemquin Films' Spring Showcase at Gene Siskel Film Center Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. Rybicky will be present for audience discussion.

—Diana Ross, Live in Central Park was a night to remember. "It was one of the peak experiences of my career," says the former Supremes member. The diva superstar sings some of her best hits and gay favorites, "I'm Coming Out," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," as well as standards from her Supremes glory days such as "Baby Love" and "Stop in the Name of Love." The 1983 broadcast concert has never been available for individual consumption until now. On DVD May 15 at

—From the director of Is it Just Me?, JC Calciano, comes eCupid, a sweet dramedy about long-term gay couple Marshall and Gabe, split apart by a relationship phone app that becomes one half's obsession. Golden Globe-nominated actress Morgan Fairchild ( Dallas, Flamingo Road ) is the voice of the eCupid app, which you can download yourself on iTunes. The movie arrives on DVD May 15 at .

—Also new from TLA Releasing, This is What Love in Action Looks Like is a documentary that traces the true story of a teenage boy, Zach Stark, who blogged his way out of an ex-gay rehabilitation program that his parents sent him to after coming out. The controversial practices exposed in Stark's accounts inspired a nationwide protest to rescue him. It's on DVD May 8 at .

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Chicago gay filmmakers Fawzia Mirza, Robert-Carnilius in film series 2015-03-31
'Mahogany' 40th-anniv. DVD out May 5 2015-03-25
Knight at the Movies: Spring LGBT movie preview 2015-03-25
Cinema Q V: Free film series celebrates half a decade with screenings 2015-03-24
Entertainment: Andy Cohen; Cheyenne Jackson; Chaz Bono; Jussie Smollett 2015-03-24
GLAAD honors Kerry Washington, 'Transparent' 2015-03-24
Chicago-made Huntington's doc 'Quicksand' screens April 9 2015-03-23
Baconfest hosting Bacon Month events 2015-03-18
Into the Woods' out on disc March 24 2015-03-18
Entertainment: Madonna; Matt Bomer; Billie Jean film; Josh Groban 2015-03-17
'Still Alice' writer Richard Glatzer dies 2015-03-11
Knight at the Movies: She's Beautiful When She's Angry 2015-03-11
Entertainment: Kerry Washington; Alexander McQueen;'The Fosters'; Mario Lopez 2015-03-11
Five Worth Finding 2015-03-10
Playgirl "Man of the Year" Dirk Shafer found dead 2015-03-06
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-03-04
NUNN ON ONE Michael Urie airs his 'View' 2015-03-04
MOVIES 'Honest Liar' a revealing doc with gay magician 2015-03-04
MOVIES Documentary looks at women's-rights movement 2015-03-04
Local entertainment events: Homestretch; Tret Fure; Louder than a Bomb; African-American films 2015-03-04
Local entertainment: Queen Latifah; Madonna; Gay horror-movie screening; gay marriage exhibit 2015-03-04
Disc and That: Upcoming and recent DVDs 2015-03-03
Entertainment: Wanda Sykes; Gaga; Mo'Nique; Eddie Redmayne 2015-03-03
Alfre Woodard talks 'State of Affairs' before local benefit 2015-02-25
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Betty Buckley puts out haunting 'Ghostlight' 2015-02-25
Knight at the Movies: The Circle; Maggie Smith 2015-02-25
Upcoming: Willa Taylor; Knuckles movie;'Louder than a Bomb'; Armatrading; Writers 2015-02-25
Oscars: NPH, Lady Gaga and inclusive remarks 2015-02-23
NUNN ON ONE: MOVIES Siskel board member on Oscars party, fave gay movie 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: On the Red Carpet and Oscars party Feb. 22 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: Internat'l Women's Dance; gays on 'Hate in America'; Knuckles film 2015-02-18
Entertainment news: Ricky Martin; Melissa Manchester; Madonna banned 2015-02-17
Movie celebrating Frankie Knuckles to shoot in Chicago 2015-02-11
Knight at the Movies: A 'Grey' day, Black history and (Oscar) gold 2015-02-11
Music Box gets a new look, addition 2015-02-10
Entertainment: Lance Bass at wedding; Andy Cohen; Lea DeLaria engaged; DGA Awards 2015-02-10
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Trai Byers talks about 'Empire' and the film 'Selma' 2015-02-04
Entertainment news: 'Drag Race'; 'Ghostbusters'; Cumming turns 50 2015-02-03
Joel Grey officially comes out as gay 2015-01-28
VIEWS Historic Black LGBTQ talk on 'Selma' takes place 2015-01-28

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






ALMA names recipients of Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change scholarship
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Taryn Manning dishes on new music, 'Orange Is the New Black'
Ald. Emma Mitts videotaped making anti-LGBT comments
Accepting HIV status is 'strength' for Chicago athlete
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now


  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.