You've never seen a brighter, breezier lynch mob than the one that terrorizes poor Paul Johnson (Peter Paige, who also wrote and directed) in Say Uncle, a candy-colored comedy with a message. Paul is a painter in Portland who is having some life transition problems. But unlike many who have trouble moving from adolescence to adulthood, Paul is having trouble moving from childhood to adolescence, and that's a disturbing situation when you're over 30 years old.
Paul's love for and identification with children is apparent when he interacts with the light of his life, his adorable two-year-old godson Mason. But when Mason and his parents move to Japan, Paul becomes a bit unhinged and desperately searches for ways to replace the joy he felt with Mason. Big mistake, Paul.
First he starts hanging around the playground, and all the mommies think he's such a cute dad, frolicking with all the kiddies. That's until he tells them that a) he doesn't have a kid and b) he's gay. Nervous mom Maggie (Kathy Najimy) goes into panic mode, convinced the neighborhood has a pedophile on its hands mainly because, as she will say time and time again, "He fits the profile."
Paul only makes things worse when he puts up posters advertising himself as a babysitter and later gets a job in a toy store, at one point escorting a little girl into the bathroom when she has to "go potty." When another youngster comes to Paul's apartment to sell candy bars for charity, Paul invites him right in for some play time.
When the police won't act, Maggie forms a mommy posse and gets the media involved in her mission to "Bring him in!" This leads to a rally, which leads to the angry lynch mob chasing Paul, which leads to the revelation of an elaborate back story, which leads to an abrupt but predictable ending.
Paige, so witty and lively as Emmett in Queer as Folk, has a surprising amount of fun tackling issues like pedophilia, vigilantism, mob mentality, and paranoia. Congrats to him for coming at these difficult topics from a unique angle. However, you may find yourself siding, at least a little bit, with Maggie. After all, just how stupid and detached from reality can Paul be? His friends aren't dumb; they warn him constantly that he's cruisin' for a major bruisin'. And will you really buy Paul's Michael Jacksonesque "I was deprived of my childhood and that's why I love children so much" excuses? If Michael weirds you out, so will Paul. Frankly, I wouldn't want him touching my toddler.
Two for one special!