Feature Story > Reel Affirmations

UNDER ONE ROOF

[CRITIC'S PICK]

Saturday, Oct. 26, 5 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

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Among the various sub-genres of gay romance films, there are a few prominent strains. There are the edgy, hipper-than-thou irony fests that strive to both celebrate and undermine the notion of romantic love. Then we have the melodramatic, lachrymal death-fests that extol the everlasting, if painful, nature of love.

Then you've got the gay romantic films that are so cute you just want to pinch their little cheeks. Under One Roof is so cute you could just eat it right up, yes you could.

Twenty-something San Franciscan Daniel (Jay Wong) is still living with his mother, who longs more than anything to set him up for marriage with a nice Chinese girl. Daniel, of course, has been completely unable to come out to his mother, and as a result lives two completely separate lives -- one at home with mother and grandmother, the other out in the city's gay community.

The two worlds cutely collide when Daniel's mother rents out the basement to Robert (James Marks), who she describes as “white, but he's got manners.” Charming circumstances and mild misunderstandings conspire to bring the two young men together, then apart, then together again in an inevitable happy ending. It's kind of like taking Margaret Cho's old sitcom, All American Girl, and mixing it with a little Will & Grace, and ending up with a big confection of Chinese-American wholesomeness.

It's predictable, but enjoyable. Sometimes, being cute is exactly what a movie needs. -- SB


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