Review of “Floored by Love”

 
 

Few films have captured the delicate issue of coming out to one's family with the accuracy and sensitivity of Floored by Love. The intense fear of rejection that makes countless couples introduce their lovers as their “roommates” at family functions is something all LGBT people have known at one time or another, so it is easy to relate to both Cara and Janet's points of view.

The additional element of cultural difference makes the film even more poignant. Cara feels trapped by her parents' expectations, who remark that it's a “disgrace” that her younger brother is getting married before her.

If there is one main problem with the film, it's the fact that it heavy-handedly favors one character's perspective over another's. Janet's desire to be openly lesbian and married to Cara is consistently promoted over Cara's reluctance to marry and her desire to keep her parents in the dark.

While this may be a noble point to make, Janet herself seems a bit too bent on getting married and puts excessive pressure on Cara to make wedding plans. It's perfectly justified for Janet to want her partner to be out to her family, but for her to demand marriage so quickly seems like a contrived plot device and doesn't mesh with the rest of the picture.

In stark contrast to Cara's woes with her family, Jesse's parents are wholeheartedly supportive of his sexuality. His stepfather, Norman (Michael Robinson), even awkwardly offers brochures from the LGBT center, proclaiming, “Here's one with safe sex tips!”

Jesse's life is stirred up unexpectedly by the return of his gay biological father, Daniel (Andrew McIlroy), a freewheeling though successful actor. This story line is actually much more about Norman's acceptance by his stepson than it is about Jesse being gay, which is sweet and unusual.

Norman is hapless and dedicated, and loves his stepson much more than Daniel ever will. This becomes especially heartbreaking halfway through the film when Jesse states his intentions to move in with Daniel, and Norman goes so far as to get a full makeover in an attempt to improve his image in Jesse's eyes. In these scenes, Norman is the lovable underdog to the flashy and shallow Daniel. Clearly, Norman is a better father, but the impressionable Jesse is easily swayed by Daniel.

As much as Jesse's story is a wonderful departure from the usually bleak gay teenager fare, it takes a bit of a backseat, dramatically, to the Cara/Janet story line. Finding out where Jesse ends up is engrossing, but the situation seems a bit unrealistic. Most parents of 14-year-olds would not let their son or daughter move in with an estranged, irresponsible adult.

Despite its flaws, Floored is an incredible little feel-good film. Both story lines are interesting and relevant, and the characters are realistic, sympathetic and most importantly, likeable. There are some weaker plot points, and the entire affair is over far too quickly, but Floored by Love absolutely delivers.

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