Out Takes keeps the holiday cheer coming with ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’
2.5 OF 5 STARS
MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY,
Magnolia Theater, 3699 McKinney Ave. Screens Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. $10. Pre-screening mixer at 6 p.m.
If it seemed like the holidays were over, someone forgot to tell Out Takes Dallas. It may say January on the calendar but it’s Christmastime at the movies, with Make the Yuletide Gay the monthly screening. But there should still be enough cheer to make it worth a jaunt. Especially if the cold weather holds up.
College student Gunn Gunnunderson (Keith Jordan) is the big gay on campus, proudly wearing his HRC T-shirt to class and happily holding hands with his trust-fund roommate and boyfriend Nathan (Adamo Ruggiero). Gunn comes from a supportive but nutty family, so when Nathan shows up unexpectedly for Christmas dinner, he’s surprised to find Gunn is not out, leading to the inevitable "roommate" cover-up and coitus interruptus moments as the two boys try to steal kisses without being caught.
Yuletide (written and directed by TCU alum Rob Williams) should seem familiar to anyone just back from a week with the ‘rents, or even those who recall those awkward pre-coming-out scenes that always seem to cluster around the holidays.
But the line between familiar and clichÃ© is a slender one. Are Gunn’s concerns about coming out to his hippie parents realistic or trite plot devices? Is this a universal tale or an uninspired one?
It doesn’t help that Williams tends to say things he could show or even suggest (not every thought requires a piece of dialog), or that the jokes tend toward the obvious (bunk-bed sleeping arrangements trigger a "do you want to be on top or bottom?" convo that will surprise no one).
But ultimately, there is a heart to Yuletide that beats right through the stereotypes — a sadness that, for many people, coming out is still a struggle, even in the post-gay, Ellen-and-Portia, Adam-Lambert-should-have-won world. The leads are cute and charming, and charm carries it … far. After all, isn’t Christmas all about good will and forgiveness — even when January rolls around? •
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 8, 2010.