breakfast with scot, 2007

published: outwords inc.

tagline: skip this canadian bacon

Wait! Did somebody say ‘NHL’ and ‘gay’ in the same sentence? Preposterous! What? Somebody made a movie about it? And it’s Canadian! Welcome to the buzz surrounding the DVD release of the much-anticipated Canadian film Breakfast With Scot. Unfortunately the film does not live up to its hype. Or for that matter much of anything else.

Breakfast With Scot tells the story of Eric McNally (Tom Cavanagh) and Sam Miller (Ben Shankman), a gay couple whose lives are shaken up when Sam’s feminine nephew Scot (Noah Bernett) moves in with them. When the semi-closeted Eric meets the incredibly flaming Scot for the first time, he does what any good homosexual father figure would do: locks up his jewelry in a tool-box and registers him for hockey. But when his efforts to hetero-sexualize Scot go awry, he ends up learning a thing or two about himself.

The main characters in the film seem like they were envisioned through a heterosexual gaze. Scot has all the makings of a brutally stereotyped gay man in the body of an eleven-year old boy. I would not be surprised to learn if his character was researched directly from Krafft-Ebing’s notebook. With a penchant for accessorizing, love of shoe-shopping and incredible figure-skating talent, it is a miracle there is still any room left for actual character development.

Eric and Sam on the other hand are Scot’s antithesis. Eric is an ex-Toronto Maple Leafs player turned sports broadcaster who loves hockey and beer. Sam is a corporate lawyer who does the laundry and plays in to Eric’s heterosexual fantasy. Aside from a small kiss, it is hard to believe the two even share the same bed. If every gay couple were as straight-acting as they are in the film, there is no doubt same-sex marriage would’ve been legislated decades ago.

Despite the limitations of their characters, the actors in the film turn out impressive performances. Given one dimension to work with, Bernett adds a couple extra to his portrayal of Scot. Against all odds, Cavanaugh brings an element of believability to his character’s arc. And in the few scenes that Shankman does get to shine, he does not disappoint.

Breakfast with Scot is like a gay melting pot of Canadian signs. Throw in some Toronto Maple Leaf logos and add a dash of pink feather boa and all you get is just another national identity crisis.