Filmed twelve years ago, this LGBTQ Drama from co-writer/director Gwen Wynne is a very emotional tale of acceptance in 1970s Northeastern United States.
Cape Cod, 1973. British-born furniture maker Harry Goodhart is a widower with two teenage daughters, Madeline and Daisy. Since their mother passed away and the Goodharts set up shop, Harry attracts the attention of Mrs. Brown, a local matchmaker and gossip, who thinks Harry can have any woman. Harry has found a business partner in Theodore Gibbs, who has moved into the back of the house while he tries to find a place of his own. When Madeline meets a new group of friends, they decide to take Madeline out to a racy underground nightclub where she discovers something shocking.
Madeline finds her father and Theodore together as a couple. Completely shocked, Madeline is determined to find a way to make her father straight again. After a series of futile attempts to get Harry to date a woman, Madeline confides in Mrs. Brown’s son Sam, who ends up telling the whole school about Harry. Now the laughingstock of the school, Madeline finally confronts her father, but things are about to get worse when Harry’s in-laws come to town to visit the family. What will happen when the truth finally comes out?
Filmed in 2009 and originally released as American Primitive, this emotionally charged LGBTQ drama set in the 1970s is a very well-made film about learning to accept, change, the times, and so much more. Director Gwen Wynne and co-writer Mary Beth Fielder have come up with the story of a man who had fallen in love with a woman, as seen in the animated opening credits, followed by her passing which leads to an eventual romance with a man, which draws the ire of those close to him and more.
Tate Donovan does a pretty good job in the film as the titular Harry, who finds himself the center of attention upon his arrival at Cape Cod. We see him struggling with his identity as a gay man only because he is worried about how those close to him will react and finds his only comfort in his partner. Adam Pascal is great to watch as Theodore, the man who is Harry’s partner and only yearns for acceptance within the family. Danielle Savre is excellent in her role as Madeline, the older daughter who discovers the shocking secret of her dad and finds a way to keep the secret hidden and yet finds herself conflicted with the change she has experienced while the late Skye McCole Bartusiak is great as younger daughter Daisy, who is oblivious to her father’s relationship.
What’s interesting about Madeline is that she has two men who have a thing for her. On the one hand, there’s Corey Sevier’s Sam, the popular son of Anne Ramsay’s insane matchmaker and resident gossip. On the other hand, there’s Spoke, a lowly fisher type played really well by Josh Peck. Spoke may seem like a creepy type of character, but as the film progresses, we will learn Spoke will become a very important character as well as Madeline’s maternal grandparents, played by acting legends Susan Anspach and James B. Sikking, who play an important part during the film’s final twenty minutes of the film.
Wild About Harry is a touching, emotional, and at times gripping LGBTQ drama with some great performances and some great themes, notably acceptance within a family environment. While the film was made in 2009, now that it will be seen everywhere, this is a film everyone should check out.
WFG RATING: A
Global Digital Releasing present a Cape Cod Films/Avery Productions/Firebrand Entertainment production in association with Wild at Heart Films. Director: Gwen Wynne. Producers: Suzan Crowley, James WEgam, Mary Beth Fielder, Adam W. Rosen, and Gwen Wynne. Writers: Mary Beth Fielder and Gwen Wynne. Cinematography: Chris Chomyn. Editing: Joanne D’Antonio.
Cast: Tate Donovan, Adam Pascal, Danielle Savre, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Stacey Dash, Anne Ramsay, Josh Peck, Corey Sevier, Susan Anspach, James B. Sikking, Johanna Braddy.
The film will be released On Demand and On Digital on December 17.