Adrian comes to his small town in Texas after three years over Christmas holidays from New York. He justifies that with reason citing to a big promotion at his office and him being very busy. You see a bit of friction between Adrian and his father. The mother is cheery as usual and Adrian's little teen brother Andrew is upset because Adrian didn't let him visit New York. We get a sense that Adrian is hiding something but we are not very sure. When Adrian gives really expensive gifts to his parents for Christmas, they are shocked since they belong to a very religious low income family. He manages to reestablish himself as a brotherly ally, but the weight of secrets withheld from his parents is almost crushing. His father, over drinks confesses to Adrian that he knows about him being gay because he saw him with his "friend" once in New York. He reconnects with an old girlfriend of his from school who still has romantic feelings for him but he makes it clear that he is there to see her as a friend. When he finally comes clean, she (and we) learn that the AIDS epidemic has become brutally central to his existence. There is a hint that Andrew , the young brother, might also be gay, and Adrian leaves a recording for him with some of the most beautiful and encouraging lines. The film ends with Adrian leaving back for New York, knowing very well that this might be the last time he is seeing his family, but unable to bring up the courage to confide in them with the reality he is facing of maybe this being his last Christmas and new year.
This film is different from most other films in this genre, in that this film focuses on the untalked tensions that come to surface because of the gay plague and how an individual gay man deals with it on his own and his family. The tensions where Adrian's father tells him that he knows about him being gay, where the mother hints at being a lot more progressive than he gives her credit for. Even at the end, she tells him that she will wait till Adrian is ready to tell her thinking only about the sexuality, meanwhile Adrian has bigger things to worry. Its painful to watch when Adrian confides to his ex girlfriend about his lover and how he died and how his family treated him even after the death, thereby making Adrian fear even more of his parents reactions. He takes a promise from her that she will tell all about Adrian to his little brother at the right time. This film felt very personal to me, to be honest. An individual dealing with sickness, which may even take his life soon, but is unable to share with his family anything about his life, including the fact that he doesn't even have a job. I liked the fact that we are not told at the outset what's going on. Its only through bits and pieces here and there that we start putting pieces together. Adrian takes pills every night, complains about stomach flu and talks to his dog about who will outlive the other. Its only towards the end we know the actual disease and its only at the end that we also get to see a glimpse of his NY life. The long silences are never awkward in the film. Parents love their sons but at the same time fear for their life and safety and this is the reason for their contradictory emotions. You first feel resentful to the father but eventually you do try to understand where he is coming from. Its the charisma of all the actors and an absolutely brilliant direction that this film goes to another level altogether. The main lead Adrian is simply mind blowing. In fact everyone else is fantastic.
This films never preaches or goes overboard. The way this film manages to force the audience to confront this subject on such a deep and personal level allows us to really think about, and understand the matter a lot better. I highly highly recommend this film. (8.5/10)