I just finished watching Dorian Blues. It’s a curious movie that I had never heard of until I ran across it in Blockbuster’s tonight. I have to say that I’m glad I rented it, as it was well worth watching.
The movie centers on Dorian, a young man who discovers he’s gay and attempts to deal with his self-discovery in light of his less than supportive family. The movie takes us through his senior year at college, his conversations with his therapist, his first sexual experience, his coming out experience, his first relationship in college, the eventual breakup, and the resulting depression. All through these experiences, Dorian consistently demonstrates himself an intelligent and wonderful man, held down by past hurts and his unwillingness to let them go.
Most of Dorian’s problems stem from his relationship with his father, an overly demanding man whose general displeasure with his older son only became more intense when Dorian came out to him. This situation was further exacerbated by a mother who would do anything to avoid a confrontation and a younger brother, Nick, who loved Dorian but was constantly held up by their father as the “perfect” son, who Dorian should strive to be more like. This of course, created a strain in the two brothers’ relationship, though the two tried their best to support each other in their own way. This emotional baggage weight down Dorian in every aspect of his life, causing him to be bitter and edgy. This cost him more than one friend and even the perfect relationship.
In the end, Dorian and Nick — who had been visiting his older brother at NYU — end up making the trip back home to attend their father’s funeral. Their father had died of a heart attack due to stress — most likely due to the fact that Nick had been cut from Syracuse University’s football team earlier that week and had therefore lost his scholarship.
The bes scene of the movie was the conversation between Dorian and his mother outside the church just before his father’s funeral. In it, his mother confronts her son about the fact that he had become mean and disapproving lik his father. She tells him, “I want you to be a good man, despite the fact that your father was never good to you…and your mother never stood up to him and made him stop.”
I cannot express how appropriate this theme is. Far too often, coming to term with one’s sexual orientation is the easy part. The hard part is learning to let go of all of those past hurts and fears, as well as the defense mechanisms and bitterness that we tend to build up in the process. Learning to let go of these things so that they don’t continue to affect our current lives is a painful and difficult process. Watching this movie enabled me to revisit this lesson, identify with Dorian’s character, and experience this letting go process one more time.
And I have to admit that scene where Dorian is franticly brushing his teeth was well worth a laugh.