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Featured DVD Review: Breakfast with Scot

May 19th, 2010

Breakfast with Scot - Buy from Amazon

Breakfast with Scot tells the story of two gay men in a committed relationship who suddenly find themselves the parents of a young boy. This film is unique, as it had the permission of the NHL to use official logos of the league and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the movie. This is the first time a professional sports league has given permission to use its logo, name, etc. for a film with a homosexual theme. Although I do feel the need to point out that they used the Toronto Maple Leafs and it seems wrong to say the words "Maple Leafs" and "professional" in the same sentence. (Before you start sending hate mail to me, I feel your pain, as my Canucks were recently eliminated in the second round. It will be another year without a shave or a haircut... it's a long story.)

The film starts with the introduction of Eric McNally, who is shown to be a bit of a douche. He's a hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and he's playing in front of some kids in a split-squad game. However, he's taking it a little too seriously, which is pissing off the fans, and his teammates. One hit from behind and it's career over.

Flash-forward five years and he's now a sports broadcaster. He's quite good at it. So good, in fact, that his bosses are thinking of sending him to cover the World Juniors championship in Iceland. However, his personal life is about to get a lot more complicated. Eric is in a long-term relationship with Sam, who is / was also his sports lawyer. This is one complication, as Eric is trying to remain deep in the closet at work because he fears being gay could negatively impact his career. Another complication arises when Julie dies, Julie being the girlfriend of Sam's flaky brother, Billy. Normally this would not impact the two of them, but she was a single mother and in her will she stated that Billy was to be the legal guardian of her son, Scot. Now Children Services wants Billy to stay with Eric and Sam. It takes a bit of convincing, more so for Eric than Sam, but they invite Scot into their home.

When they meet Scot, he turns out to be, well, if not actually gay, then openly flamboyant. They try to deal with taking care of a child and trying to help him fit in more. But will they be able to change Scot, or will Scot's joie de vivre help Eric be more accepting of his sexuality?

You can probably guess which way it goes, as this is a rather predictable film. The closest thing to a plot twist is the fact that everyone at his work knew that Eric was gay. And that was amazingly obvious from the start. The happy ending was also telegraphed right from the start.

That said, it's also rather charming. Both Thomas Cavanagh and Ben Shenkman give strong performances, although the latter is a little underwritten compared to the former. I guess this makes sense as the film is about Eric accepting himself, while Sam is already comfortable. The biggest surprise in the acting department is relative newcomer, Noah Bernett. (Coincidentally, he had a small part in Prom Wars, which I also recently reviewed.) The characters they help create are the best part of the movie, while the situations they are in can be a little sitcom-like. (Sitcomy? Sitcomish?) For the contraversial subject matter, the film does its damnedest to not offend, but instead this just lessens its impact at times.

There were a couple of things that struck me as odd. There was a scene in the mall with Eric and Scot shopping when another shopper calls Scot a sissy. It felt out of place. Perhaps if the other shopper were a kid trying to act cool in front of his friends it would have made sense. But it was an adult just talking out loud to no one. Secondly, a bit earlier in the movie, Eric and Sam are talking to each other worried about Scot's behavior they comment that he's singing Christmas Carols... in October. They act like that's an unusual occurrence, but by October most stores already have some Christmas decorations up for sale. Hell, one year I saw Christmas decorations for sale while shopping for supplies for my birthday, and my birthday is in August. It's enough to make my want to impale myself on my Festivus Pole.

Sadly, there are no extras on the DVD. I guess considering it is a small film from Canada, this is not surprising.

The Verdict

The message of Breakfast with Scot is one of tolerance, which is obviously commendable. The execution is mixed with the cast rising above the mostly sitcom quality material. The lack of extras on the DVD is disappointing, but it is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

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