Cringe comedy is a specific genre of comedy that derives humor from social awkwardness. ~ Wikipedia
I was pretty hard on the film Make the Yuletide Gay when I first saw it. After reviewing ten other LGBT holiday films I must apologize. Yuletide gave us protagonists to root for, a few laughs and a requisite heartwarming finale. The following films start with the same premise, a same sex couple at a family holiday gathering, and fall apart from there.
The following reviews contain mild spoilers.
Lauren wants to come out to her parents on Thanksgiving, but their zany dinner guests derail her plans. The effort to place elements of an old fashioned farce in a grounded contemporary setting causes tonal dissonance. A drug dealing uncle, a jail bait cousin and bro-ish friends who think seducing a lesbian is a “challenge” are farcical types but they’re also really gross. Deirdre O’Connell stands above it all as the sensible mother who’ll be perfectly happy to listen to Lauren once she’s done cooking the turkey. C-
Romantic Advice: “Friends support friends even when it’s inconvenient.”
Cringiest Moment: The jail bait cousin kisses Lauren’s black roommate. Her white father and uncle see this. They proceed to chase the roommate across the neighborhood screaming they are going to kill him. Whimsical music plays on the soundtrack.
Jordan proposes to David, his boyfriend of two years, and David says no. Awkward, as they’re about to spend Christmas with Jordan’s zany family. Jordan melts down, throwing insults and hooking up with a twinky ski instructor. He acknowledges his bad behavior in a series of audience asides. Trouble is we’re never given a reason to root for the couple to salvage things. It’s pretty tiresome. At least the ski instructor is cute. C-
Romantic Advice: “Love is someone you can be boring with.”
Cringiest Moment: The racist, drunken aunt climbing into bed between the gay couple and accidentally grabbing Dave’s “warm bits.”
What have we learned?
Cringe comedy works best if you laugh as much as you wince. That’s not the case here. Both of these protagonists are dealing with deep self-loathing. Without some counseling their partners will get stuck enabling their bad behavior. They may never make it to Valentine’s Day.
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See you in the new year!