“DOING TIME ON MAPLE DRIVE”
Once upon a time a made for TV movie was considered inferior than a movie you pay to see in a movie theater. Then along came “Doing Time on Maple Drive”, a powerful film with a lot to say. It is the kind of movie that hits the viewer hard because it deals with real issue and real values. It looks at the syndrome of the controlling, affluent parents who have children that are afraid of disapproval. And it also has Jim Carrey in a dramatic role.
Psychiatry maintains that there are no family secrets, there are just things that are notspoken about openly and that seems to be the thesis of the film. “Doing Time” makes you sit up and think about your life, your friends, your family and people. When it premiered in 1992, the movie packed a wallop. Today it may seem a bit contrived but it does make you aware of just how far we have come in terms of tolerance. It is an honest look at the workings of a family and it is made even more real by excellent writing and acting.
Our dysfunctional family in “Maple Drive” is busy thnkng about the upcoming wedding of one of the sons and how years of keeping up appearances has failed and with the failure almost destroys everyone involved. Strangely enough, the most functional member of the family is the alcoholic (brilliantly portrayed by Carrey). He is the only one who can say what is true and what is on his mind.
The gay subplot of the brother Matt was another major issue of the film and it was hadled respectfully and beautifully. Thinking his family was “perfect”, Matt felt he had to hide his homosexuality.
What I especially liked about the film was howit managed to draw the audience in and by doing so made us members of the family.
For the gay population of America, the movie had a lot to say and by showing that truth is the optimum way to live a life and it is important for gays to be true to themselves if they want others to acceptthem. “Maple Drive” shows us how important it is to listen—to ourselves and to others.When we listen to ourselves we bring things out into the open and can then find ways to tackle any problems we may have. In the case of the gay son, if he had listened to himself and heard what others waere saying he would have realized that he was perfectly fine.
The makers of the film and the actors in it should be applauded for even tacking a movie of this nature. The honesty presented here wil not soon be forgotten.