My Gay Dad
Saturdays had always been movie day so it came as a shock when one Saturday Jack's (Anton Yelchin - Along Came a Spider) father Paul (Ron Silver - Ali) started filling garbage bags with his stuff to move out. But that is nothing to the shock he gets sometime later when on one of his regular days out with his dad he tells him that he left because he had been living a lie and is in fact in love with another man. Struggling to deal with the fact his father is gay Jack learns that his friend Maggie (Britt Irvin) also has a gay father and through her and his understanding mum Anne (Stockard Channing - Bright Young Things) tries to deal with this new world.
When you say a movie is a teen comedy the chances are you will think of something along the lines of a high school sex comedy which revels in young men's pursuit of sex. Technically "Jack" is also a teen comedy but is a far more insightful and quiet affair about a young boy dealing with the shell shock of his father coming out. It means that we have this blend of clever writing and humour with an almost bi-polar style where one minute we will get a laugh the next it goes quiet and thoughtful even straying in to some dark territory involving a seemingly perfect marriage.
Now this makes "Jack" a very interesting and insightful movie into the world of a teenager who is already dealing with typical teenage turmoils gets the added turmoil of a gay father. It has a really thoughtful and level headed side which mixes well with extreme moments of comedy such as the boat scene where Paul tells Jack that Bob is his lover and Jack unable to deal with the revelation jumps into the lake and swims away. It is quirky without being forced and has a real natural side to things which comes from some beautiful writing. Having said that sometimes the writing is too much as we have a narration from Jack whose vocabulary and way of describing things is just too much and not believable for a 15 year old.
Despite that you have to say that Anton Yelchin is the star of "Jack" his quirkiness and quiet, oddball ways makes the movie so engaging. He makes him likeable, sensitive and also amusing which considering he is starring alongside Stockard Channing and Ron Silver makes it quite a remarkable feat. But both Channing and Silver are just as good in their parts, allowing for their performances to be low key and allowing the writing and Yelchin to be the star.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Jack" is technically a teen comedy it isn't going to be for everyone as it is quiet, insightful and more about the witty writing and characters than what happens. But for those who enjoy movies which amuse through intelligent writing this will be a delight.