TLA Releasing // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 24th, 2011
Christmas...the perfect holiday to come out of the closet.
What I love about writer director Rob Williams (3-Day Weekend) is that he always makes films that are well thought out and a lot of fun. He is part of a new generation of GLBT filmmakers who can work in the genre without having to always deal with heavy dramatic material. This is his stab at making a gay Christmas production, and it works in that sense. Make the Yuletide Gay is merry, bright, and certainly makes the holidays feel a little more queer. It takes your typical "coming out" story and adds a whole lot of holiday silliness to make it lighter than air.
Nathan and Gunn are an out and proud college couple about to head their separate ways for Christmas break. Gunn (Keith Jordan, Suburban Girl) goes right back into the closet for his Wisconsin parents, even hitting a rest stop en route to change clothes and get the gel out of his hair. Meanwhile, poor Nathan (Adamo Ruggerio, Degrassi: The Next Generation) comes home to find his upper crust family has left him to go on a cruise through the Holy Land. So Nathan decides to surprise Gunn by showing up on his doorstep as a holiday treat. The only trouble is, what do you do when your boyfriend's parents think he's straight? Now the two have to deal with the fact Nathan's parents don't know they are "ho ho homo."
The cast is an interesting mix of gay favorites and familiar Nick at Nite celebs. Keith Jordan and Adamo Ruggerio do solid work, playing everything very naturally as the two leading men. They never lapse into pure stereotype or parody, but certainly allow everyone else to spin out of control. Hunky handsome Derek Long is a favorite of director Rob Williams, and plays Gunn's hippie father who smokes a little too much pot. He is coupled with the always giggling Kelly Keaton (Long-Term Relationship), and together they provide the right Wisconsin flavor to carry off a very young looking set of parents with a kid in college. They do nice work carrying the film's comedic setup by being sweet and unsuspecting of their son's predicament. If you're a television junkie, you'll have a blast identifying the supporting cast. Ian Buchanan (Twin Peaks) shows up as Nathan's father, while his mother is played by Gates McFadden of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame. Also appearing is Alison Arngrim, who fans will recognize as Nellie Olsen from Little House on the Prairie, and television veteran Hallee Hirsh (E.R.) playing the neighbor's daughter and stealing every scene she's in with impeccable comic timing.
Make the Yuletide Gay received a very solid DVD release a couple of years ago, and this new Blu-ray merely tweaks a few things. The 1.78:1/1080p transfer looks a bit better, but there is still the sense that the feature was shot on the cheap. Colors pop a bit more, and the blacks are better handled this time. It definitely benefits from the high definition treatment, but that's not going to be the major reason to purchase it. Truth is they have over corrected some of the edges, so the enhancement is a little more noticeable. It's not a film that begged for an HD release.
The bonus material is what sells Make the Yuletide Gay (Blu-ray). All the extras from the DVD are here, along with some new ones. Ported over are cast interviews, a couple of deleted scenes, extended takes, outtakes, a half hour of behind the scenes featurette, and commentary with director Rob Williams and his two male leads. We also get a brand new commentary with Williams, Derek Long, and Kelly Keaton that plays better than the original. All three are pretty good friends, and it's a nice addition with more insider information. They've also added new interviews with Williams, actor Alison Arngrim, and composer Austin Wintory. Two music videos pop up, alongside more promotional material such as a "special message from Adam Ruggiero." It's a very well appointed disc that has plenty for fans to explore, and should make you feel like you get a ton of bang for your buck.
Make the Yuletide Gay is a great find for anybody looking for a queer holiday movie. It's a rainbow colored coming out story that has a bright tone and very likable characters. Nothing is played too seriously, and yet there is a nice message about the anxiety anybody feels when they are about to reveal who they truly are to their parents. It would make a great gift under the tree for anybody who's looking for a nice way to say "Hey Mom and Dad! I am totally gay and okay with it!"
Guilty of making Christmas just a little more gay.
Review content copyright © 2011 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: TLA Releasing
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted/Extended Scenes
* Music Videos