A young man comes to terms with growing up gay in this independent comedy drama. Dorian (Michael McMillian) is a 17-year-old guy living with his family in Upstate New York. Dorian is obviously the second-rate sibling in his household; his older brother Nicky (Lea Coco) is a hotshot athlete who gets the lion's share of attention from their father Tom (Steven Charles Fletcher), while their mother Maria (Mo Quigley) seems too zoned out to pay much mind to anyone. The fact that Dorian is an awkward social misfit is bad enough, but what troubles him even more is the fact he's slowly coming to the realization that he's gay. When Dorian breaks the news to Nicky, his big brother is surprised but accepting, but Tom doesn't handle the news nearly as well, and Dorian is on the outs with his dad as he begins his first semester at New York University. At NYU, Dorian has his first satisfying relationship with fellow student Ben (Cody Nickell), but his first heartbreak soon follows, leaving him in a vulnerable spot when he gets some bad news from home. Dorian Blues was the first feature film from writer and director Tennyson Bardwell. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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There have been countless coming-out-to-the-family movies in the gay genre, so do we need another? Anytime it's handled as well as DORIAN BLUES, we do. This 75-minute charmer/gentle satire (you might call it "American Beauty"-lite) is so agile as it courses through the cliches (realization, seeing the shrink, telling the family, leaving home) that you will not have seen it done quite like this. So light on their feet are writer/director & performers (every single actor, none of whom I had been previously aware, does a terrific job) that the movie carries you briskly along to its interesting, if a bit too easily-won, conclusion. The tone moves from light to serious a bit haltingly but never loses its footing. Perhaps the sweetest, deepest part of the film details the growing bond between the brothers--one gay, the other straight. This grounds the film and provides some of its best scenes. Writer/director Tennyson Bardwell should be heard from again soon, as should his delightful cast.