Mulligans

"OK"

Mulligans Review


It's going to be a perfect summer at the lakeside cabin of Nathan (Dan Payne), his wife Stacey (Thea Gill), their college-age son Tyler (Derek Baynham), and their eight-year-old daughter Birdie (Grace Vukovic in Abigail Breslin mode). Nothing but golf, barbecues, and swimming lessons. Tyler brings along his best friend Chase (Charlie David) to bunk with the family and work at the local golf course, but as is always the case as a drama gets going, someone has a secret.

In the earnest but stilted Mulligans, the revelation that stirs the pot is homosexuality. Tyler drags Chase to a couple of Animal House-like parties featuring beer funnels and slutty girls, but Chase fails to be attracted to the chicks that Tyler points in his direction. To cut the tension, Chase tells Tyler he's gay, and hopes he's "OK with that." Sure, says the surprised Tyler, who, once reassured that it doesn't mean that he's gay as well, comes up with "I love you, man." Amusingly, even he realizes how dumb that sounds, so he decrees that in the future, instead of saying that embarrassing phrase, they'll say, "Go Steelers!"

Tyler's family is equally cool with the announcement, even young Birdie, who keeps asking what gay is and whether she's gay because she loves her female tennis teacher. Only Nathan seems a bit perturbed by Chase's announcement. Can you guess why?

It only takes a weekend alone and a couple of beers for Nathan to tell Chase that he, too, is gay and would like to emerge from 25 years in the closet here and now. A couple of kisses, some couch cuddling, and a skinny dip later, the affair has commenced, but it won't be a secret for long, and once Stacey, who has distracted herself from her suspicions about her husband by becoming a super-efficient stay-at-home mom for 20 years, figures it out, all hell breaks loose.

But here's the weird part: All hell breaks loose for only about ten minutes. Even Tyler, who has just found out that his father is gay and has bedded his best friend, gets over it shockingly easily. Your reaction may be more that of a family friend who jokes, "Has anyone called Jerry Springer yet?," but this clan rebounds with an astonishing amount of equanimity.

Writer/star Charlie David may have wanted to keep things low key, but the movie ends up coming across as low voltage. Only Thea Gill (whom Queer as Folk fans will remember as one half of the token lesbian couple) has the acting chops to bring any real color to her role. The movie is equally hamstrung by bizarre casting. The college guys are too old, and the parents are too young, and even after the screenplay tries to explain it away by noting Nathan and Stacey's teenage marriage, the whole arrangement seems weird. So does the endless series of product-placed t-shirts that distract from the drama. Oh, and there should have been more sex, if only to reinforce the shocking nature of Nathan's decision. As it is, Nathan and chase just seem like good friends. Bottom line: different t-shirts and more sex, and Mulligans would have been a better film.

Needs more Richard. Mulligan, I mean.



Mulligans

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th September 2009

Distributed by: Wolfe Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chip Hale

Producer: Charlie David, Linda Carter

Starring: Patrick Baynham as Razor, Ann Chaland as Grandma, Dan Payne as Nathan Davidson, Thea Gill as Stacey Davidson, Charlie David as Chase Rousseau, Derek Baynham as Tyler Davidson, Grace Vukovic as Birdy Davidson

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