My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Gays don't know 'bout birthin' no babies

by Paul Bellini

Paternity Leave is a new gay comedy movie starring Jacob York and Charlie David. Charlie is familiar to viewers of Out TV’s Bump. In this film, he plays a gay man who gets his lover pregnant. It’s not super explained how this happens, but the situation is enough to throw even the most solid gay couple into a tizzy.

In reality, gay parenting is something that usually happens with lots of pre-planning. But this movie thrusts the gay couple into the same predicament as that of a straight couple. With an unexpected baby on the way, can they manage to stay together?
The movie is full of implausibilities, but it’s a comedy, not a drama or a sci fi. It doesn’t have to make sense, and I was charmed by much of it. The score is comprised of the same old time jazz recordings that pepper Woody Allen’s movies. The guys are cute and the cinematography is very pretty. There’s a certain sweetness to it all, and I don’t think I’m spoiling the ending by saying that the baby is born, and it’s adorable. (I’m still not sure from which opening it came, however.)

Pregnant men movies aren’t new. There’s Jacques Demy’s A Slightly Pregnant Man from 1973, and Joan Rivers’ Rabbit Test from 1978, even Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Junior from 1994. Then there was the ‘pregnant man’ brouhaha that boosted daytime TV ratings a few years ago. Paternity Leave does a nice job of exploring the ‘what if’ element of the situation. The only real problem with it is that it isn’t really about paternity leave at all.

Paternity Leave opens Nov. 24. 2015