A married gay couple have to navigate a custody battle over their son during a divorce that starts getting messy in Our Son.
Gay couples are no different than straight couples. They can fall out of love and end up getting divorced–yes, even after fighting for the right to get married. However, it’s just as messy for gay parents as it is for straight parents when it comes to custody over their children.
When we first meet book publisher Nicky (Luke Evans) and former actor/stay-at-home dad Gabriel (Billy Porter), they look no different than any other married couple. They take care of their son, Owen (Christopher Woodley). But as we dive further into the film, we see that there’s more here than meets the eye. Gabriel had quit acting so that he could be Owen’s primary caregiver. It was only a matter of time before their marriage started falling apart. Gabriel loves Owen more than Nicky and he lets Nicky know it. Unfortunately, being parents means having to fight for custody. The big question is just who will wind up with primary physical custody. Will it be Nicky or Owen? There’s also the question of their friendship circle, too.
Even as the family falls apart, screenwriters Peter Nickowitz and Bill Oliver manage to a love story within. In this case, it’s the love that Nicky and Gabriel have for Owen. Unfortunately, this love is also what makes their divorce very messy. At the same time, the film brings representation that we don’t see on screen quite that often–being LGBTQ and parenting. LGBTQ parents are no different than cis-het parents, no matter Ron DeSantis may think. I imagine we’ll continue to see this trend more and more in the world of indie film rather than mainstream cinema.
Our Son is a reminder that no matter what happens between parents, their children are still important.
DIRECTOR: Bill Oliver
SCREENWRITERS: Peter Nickowitz & Bill Oliver
CAST: Luke Evans, Billy Porter, introducing Christopher Woodley, Andrew Rannells, Robin Weigert, Kate Burton, Isaac Powell, Michael Countryman, David Pittu, Cassandra Freeman, Gabby Beans, Liza J. Bennett, Nuala Cleary, Francis Jue, and Phylicia Rashad
Our Son holds its world premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Festival in the Spotlight Narrative section. Grade: 3.5/5
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