Breakfast With Scot

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Opens: Friday, Oct. 10 (Regent Releasing).

Imagine Disney tackling the issue of gay identity in a movie geared for youngsters, and you have some idea of the benign blandness of "Breakfast With Scot."

A feel-good tale with undeniably good intentions, this Canadian comedy-drama doesn't really manage to convince on any level.

Sports lawyer Sam (Ben Shenkman) and his lover Eric (Tom Cavanagh), a former pro-hockey player-turned-sportscaster, are living a comfortable if closeted life that is interrupted by the arrival of Scot (Noah Bernett), the 11-year-old son of Sam's irresponsible brother who refuses to take responsibility for the boy even after the mother dies.

Unlike his straitlaced new guardians, Scot, despite his young age, is flamboyantly gay, happily comfortable wearing makeup and a feather boa, declaring his love for Broadway musicals, and not being shy about kissing other boys. Needless to say, this makes Eric particularly uncomfortable, as he has taken pains to hide his sexual identity from his macho co-workers.

Needless to say, the initial tensions eventually dissipate, as the characters learn life lessons about tolerance and self-acceptance.

It's all too cutesy by far, with Scot's effeminate characteristics heavily emphasized for intended laughs even while the sexuality of the adult gay characters is virtually nonexistent. By the time the film ends with a feel-good Christmas party, its contrivances have long started to grate.

Young Bernett does well by his tyke character, and Cavanagh again displays a likable screen presence even when his character is acting boorishly.

The film was mildly controversial in its native country because of fans' unhappiness with the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs for allowing the use of their logos in a gay-themed picture.

Production: Miracle Pictures.
Cast: Tom Cavanagh, Ben Shenkman, Noah Bernett, Benz Antoine, Jeananne Goossen.
Director: Laurie Lynd.
Screenwriter: Sean Reycraft.
Executive producers: Howard Rosenman, Nadine Schiff.
Producer: Paul Brown.
Director of photography: David Makin.
Production designer: Tamara Deverell.
Costume designer: Alexander Reda.
Editor: Susan Shipton.
Rated PG-13, 95 minutes.

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