When hunky college student Tyler Davidson brings his closeted best friend, Chase, home with him for the summer, he envisions the two of them playing golf, partying and chasing girls. Instead, summer vacation becomes a time for unexpected revelations between friends and among family members.
Mulligans, which was well-received on the film festival trail last year, will make its DVD debuton April 21 courtesy of Wolfe Video. The film’s cast is populated with alumni of various GLBT film and TV favorites. Charlie David (Dante’s Cove, A Four Letter Word) plays Chase, and also wrote the screenplay. Tyler is played by Derek James, who has appeared in The L Word, and his mother, Stacey, is played by Dante’s Cove and Queer as Folk veteran Thea Gill.
The pivotal character in Mulligans, though, turns out to be daddy Davidson, Nathan (Dan Payne, who also appears in the recently released Watchmen). Charlie David, as the movie’s screenwriter and lead actor, indulges an enduring gay fantasy: getting it on with your best friend’s father.
Nathan, who we learn struggled throughout adolescence with his homosexuality, has kept his urges successfully hidden the past 20 years. But once exposed to the more liberated Chase, Nathan’s long-suppressed desires begin to emerge.
The emotional relationship and honesty that develop between Nathan and Chase is appealing, but as their intimacy becomes sexual, it also becomes trite. Will Stacey, Tyler and Tyler’s little sister return home early from a visit to grandma and catch Chase and Nathan canoodling on the couch or skinny-dipping in the lake? How long will Tyler remain angry once he learns of his best friend’s affair with his father? Will Stacey stop drinking long enough to have an honest discussion with her husband? And are Nathan and Chase destined to share a longtime commitment or simply a summer fling?
Mulligans is admirably directed by Chip Hale on a low budget, and gets points for its sincerity. However, despite its makers’ best efforts to be provocative, the film ends up disappointingly routine.
Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.