When Madeline and her sister, Daisy, move with their recently widowed father to Cape Cod, they never thought that their lives would change so drastically. Change is inevitable, especially after their mother had just died, but when Madeline and a group of friends travel to Atlantic City for a night on the town, she sees something she had never thought she would see… Her father with another man. As the worries brew inside her as to whether or not this was merely an overreaction, she starts to become distant and then lashes out against her father. However, as soon as the truth is revealed, she confides in the wrong person and the bullying starts. Will Harry be able to keep his daughters and be homosexual? This is the question that he has asked himself and the fears that goes along with being found out, doesn’t go away.
Wild About Harry is set in 1973, the time when everything was groovy and homosexuality was still considered a taboo. A normal man, Harry (Tate Donovan) fell in love with the elusive Mr. Gibbs (Adam Pascal) and so far the union has lived together ever since they’ve moved to Cape Cod. This “partnership” is strictly business as far as everyone is concerned, but then we are always thinking about what happens behind the closed doors. For some a film about homosexuality may not be the type of film they want to concern themselves with, but this film is not a love story (even if there are some romantic elements present). No, Wild About Harry is a coming of age film as a man in the middle of his life realises that he is a homosexual and yet he deems the word ugly and not at all a proper manner of describing his preferences. We also have Madeline (Danielle Savre), who is sixteen and has to not only deal with her own problems at school, but also with the problems at home. She makes mistakes, she trusts the wrong people and she obviously is confused about the situation, but her love for her father is greater than even she thinks.
We also have some great acting from all of the actors mentioned above as well as Skye McCole Bartusiak (The Patriot), however Josh Peck‘s performance seemed strained and tired. On a side-note, seeing as this film was set in the 1970′s, we even have some directing scenes that is reminiscent of the era with groovy boxes and whatnot.
Though, even today, homosexuality is a touchy subject, I like to think that in some ways people have just made peace with the fact that some people just love the same gender. Wild About Harry will open your eyes to see just how terrible the topic was back in the day and to think, in many ways no progress has been made on this particular concept. The film is inspired by real events and although some of you may be getting squeamish (or excited for that matter) by the prospects of a gay couple getting passionate on-screen, no need to worry, because director Gwen Wynne, captured the love, devotion and romance in such a tactful manner, that it doesn’t make one uncomfortable whatsoever.
Wild About Harry is a beautiful film about family, the values in a family, growing up and homosexuality. It is therefore a must-see for anyone who’s looking to cuddle up the evening with something a little different on their TV.