Queerly Ever After #22: OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY!! (2009)

Queerly Ever After is a bi-monthly column where I take a look at LGBT+ films that gave their characters a romantic happily-ever-after. There will be spoilers.

If you thought that 2011’s The Love Patient would be the worst movie on this list, you would be sorely mistaken. No, the award for the worst movie I have watched thus far for my column has to go to Evgeny Afineevsky’s Oy Vey! My Son is Gay!! This movie was so abysmally bad that I could barely get through it. Unlike other bad movies on this list that are fun to hate-watch and provide your own commentary track to, this movie is offensively, not funnily, bad.

For starters, this film traffics in all the worst kinds of stereotypes, the Jewish characters are shrill, obsessed with money, Italian characters are all mobsters, and the majority of the gay men in this film are portrayed as predatory as if the film is trying to make a statement that the central gay couple in the film is not like other gay men.

What is This Fakakta Plot?

The plot of the film revolves around a young Jewish man named Nelson (John Lloyd Young). He lives in Manhattan with his long-term boyfriend Angelo (Jai Rodriguez), however, while Angelo is out to his Italian-American (Vincent Pastore and Shelly Burch) parents, Nelson is not out to his. Despite the fact that Nelson is living a secret life, he and Angelo are in the process of trying to adopt a baby. This plot is so nonsensical, these two men are really planning on adopting a baby and Nelson will do what, tell his parents he got some random woman pregnant and then left him with the baby? After some pressure from Angelo, Nelson finally agrees to come out to his mother Shirley (Lainie Kazan) and father Martin (Saul Rubinek). It does not go over well.

Queerly Ever After #22: OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY!! (2009)
source: New Generation Films

Of course, as this is a Queerly Ever After you know it will have a happy ending, and it does. After the tedium of dealing with Nelson’s homophobic parents for the majority of the movie, a judge grants Nelson and Angelo the right to adopt a baby. I just want to point out here that this movie is set in New York City in 2009, and yes, LGBT couples definitely still face challenges when it comes to adoption, but New York started accepting adoption applications from LGBT couples in the late 1970s. Nelson and Angelo are a successful, white gay couple, in 2009 NYC their attempts at adoption would become a major court case, and the riots that occur after they are granted the right to adopt would also not happen.

Queerly Ever After #22: OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY!! (2009)
source: New Generation Films

Yes, after Nelson and Angelo are given the right to adopt, homophobes come out of the woodwork to protest the judge’s ruling. Nelson’s parents see this on the news and finally decide to support their gay son. Seriously, the plot of this movie feels like it should have been set in the 1970s, not 2009. There are so many other movies on this list, many made well before this one was even a germ of an idea, that handle the subject matter of coming out and gay couples adopting.

Dreck Parents

When the film starts it seems that maybe Nelson’s father, Martin, is going to be the most level-headed character in the film, alas, he is quite possibly the biggest, most abhorrent homophobe in it—aside from his uncle Moisha (Eddie Levi Lee) who believes women should save themselves for marriage and all young men should sleep with prostitutes. Many movies on this list came out well before this film was even conceived of and handled their subject matter with grace and tact. This film is just one heaping pile of stereotyped garbage.

source: New Generation Films

Sadly, it’s not only the parents who are awful in this movie. Aside from Nelson and Angelo (who are beyond chaste, even when at home alone), every gay man is portrayed as predatory. For example, there is a man who works in Martin’s office building, with whom he often ends up on the elevator. This man is openly gay and uncomfortably forward towards Martin, who is clearly not interested.

To make matters worse, after Nelson comes out Martin and Shirley decide to visit a gay bar (that feels like it’s out of an anti-LGBT PSA), at this bar he runs into that man, who is now dressed as a woman. No, not in drag, but he is presenting as a woman, because of course we had to throw in that old trope that sexuality and gender identity are the same and all gay men truly want to be women. Great filmmaking, really, insightful ideas, it’s not like by 2009 we had debunked that idea (sarcasm).

Oy Vey! My Son is Gay! In Conclusion

I loathe this movie. Loathe it with every fiber of my being. This makes, what I had thought of as the worst movie I’d ever seen, the Lolita-inspired, incestuous rom-com, My Father The Hero (1994), somehow seem less bad. I don’t even end up caring that the movie has a happy ending. While watching it, all you can think is oy vey! go the frack away!!

Oy Vey! My Son is Gay! came out theatrically in the US on December 24, 2010.

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