March 10, 2011 | by Steve Fox
Meddling movie mama

 

Joanne McGee and Steve Snyder in ‘You Should Meet My Son.’ (Photo courtesy of Reel Affirmations)

Mother knows what’s best for her son — especially a southern mother.

Reel Affirmations brings “You Should Meet My Son” to the JCC tonight. While the Reel Affirmations film festival has been on hiatus, the organization has been bringing individual LGBT-themed films to the Washington area since last year. Tonight’s film, starring Joanne McGee, Carol Goans and Stewart Carrico and written and directed by Keith Hartman, is worth the ticket.

While Brian (Stewart Carrico) struggles to come out to his conservative mother, Brian’s mother Mae (Joanne McGee) goes to great lengths to find the perfect girl for her son.

Many dinners are held at the house with a new female prospect each night as a guest. This low-budget production starts off a bit slow, but picks up speed as the plot unfolds. After Mae and her sister come to the conclusion that their beloved Brian may indeed by gay, the duo does their gay homework and sets out to find the right guy for Brian.

Mae and Rose (Carol Goans) immerse themselves in studying gay lifestyle and culture –– soon finding themselves cruising the internet and hanging out in gay bars. Mae and Rose strike friendships with a motley crew of patrons at the club and quickly form a close-knit “family.”

While character development is limited for Brian, each of the sub-characters brings a good take on gay stereotypes to Mae’s dinner table. You can’t help but relate to each of them in some way. The gang puts together a plan to hook Brian up with go-go dancer Chase in the midst of Brian’s self-inflicted “gay-no-more” engagement to conservative, “Jennie Sue.” Let the culture wars begin.

There is a poignant scene where Mae takes her son aside and the two share an emotional moment as “mother to gay son.” A moment that can only be shared between mother and son. I cried. Amongst all the silliness, a tender moment makes the film.

“You Should Meet My Son” will be showing at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center at 1529 16th Street, N.W.

Financial woes dog gay film festival

Reel Affirmations, Washington’s only gay film festival, continues to face daunting financial challenges that have forced the festival to again reschedule its 2011 festival.

There was no festival last year. Organizers with One in Ten, the festival’s parent entity, planned a spring event next month instead of its usual October slot, but the loss of two key grants the organization depended on derailed those plans. An October festival is planned.

“It was necessary for us to move the festival back to its usual fall dates because we need the extra time to continue raising money,” Larry Guillemette, One in Ten’s director of development, wrote in an e-mail. “Reel Affirmations is an important community event and among the top five LGBT film festivals in the U.S. and the largest multiple-day LGBT event in the nation’s capital. It is something we cannot allow to die.”

Guillemette says the festival’s new “VIP Program” has proven to be a successful vehicle for raising money. Via reelaffirmations.org, donors can make a tax-deductible donation ranging from $350 to $2,500 to help the support the struggling festival. According to Guillemette, the organization feels confident that they will be able to bring the festival back this October. There are plans for an announcement in August to name the 120-plus films to be featured over the 10-day festival. The festival guide is slated to hit the streets near Labor Day.

 

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