“THE TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS”
“The Twilight of the Golds” (Genius Entertainment) is controversial by its very nature. It is the story of a young couple who discover through genetic testing that their soon to be born child will be gay. Sounds preposterous, does it not? So does the film seem to be until you watch it. Boasting an all star cast, this original Showtime movie stats Gerry Marshall, Faye Dunaway, Brendan Fraser, Jennifer Beales and Rosie O’Donnell, it will have you thinking long after you finish viewing it.
The movie opens at a happy family party at the soon to be grandparent’s home (Marshall and Dunaway). Suzanne Stein (Jennifer Beals) and her husband Rob have a secret which they can’t wait to tell but the peaceful evening get together is broken by the animosity the parents show toward their gay son, David (Fraser). When he remarks that his lover sends his regards and remarks that he would have come had he been invited. It is here that we see how deep homophobia runs in the family.
Mixing high drama with comedy, we allow ourselves to relax only to be jolted back into reality later in the film. David’s father tells hi, that he thinks his son is sick and diseased (because he is gay) and that had they known he was gay before birth, they would have had him aborted. What is so hard to see in this film is the plausibility (or lack of) in the subject matter. Even an assumption that there is a test to show signs of homosexuality before birth seems a tad ridiculous.
The whole idea behind the film is both fascinating and disgusting at the same time. If indeed it will be possible, sometime in the future, to know the sexuality of an unborn child. I wonder what we have to gain from that. What does that do to the color scheme for boys and girls? Will we adopt anew color for gay children? It seems ridiculous but as foolish as it seems, good acting makes it extremely interesting.
Jennifer Beals puts in am amazing performance as Suzanne Gold, a woman who has a very difficult decision to make. The main problem I had with the movie, and mind you all, I liked the film very much, is whether the movie is really about the son, David or the unborn baby. We feel David’s pain and anguish over his family’s non-acceptance of him. But what about Suzanne and Rob—are they willing to have a baby that will turn out like David? If he is indeed gay, will they be able to love him or should they just abort him and save him a life f pain? When David realizes that the only reason that his parents grant him the iota of acceptance that they do because they know they cannot change him, he is crushed but manages to hold himself together. But when he learns that if they could have prevented his birth altogether, they would have, he becomes distraught. Suzanne adores her brother but is she willing to have a child like him?
The subject matter is incendiary. What if we could know about the sexuality of a child before birth? Would we want to know? Today it is not so bad but imagine this issue twenty years ago or in a place where homosexuality is punishable by death.
Should Suzanne and Rob bring a child into the world after having seen the way David had been treated?-especially by Suzanne’s own parents. David is the center of the film and eventually it is he who shapes and helps his sister make her final decision. This movie gets excessively heavy in the second half but even with that heaviness, I found so much to like here. It did what few movies do these days—it made me think and even though I will never be in a position that s similar to the one presented here, it made me wonder what I would do if I were.