Friday, June 24, 2011

Jim Carrey & William McNamara in Doing Time on Maple Drive (1992)

Obscurity factor: 2

Next in our series of gay themed content (in honor of Pride week here in New York) we have this television film from the early 90's. The Carter family seems to have it all - a successful business, three beautiful children who are seem fulfilled. When they get together for the homecoming of the youngest son Matt (McNamara) the cracks in the perfect facade begin to show. We learn that Tim (Carrey) is an alchoholic, Karen is pregnant and contemplating an abortion rather than bringing a child into the maelstrom of their family and Matt, who has brought his fiance home with him has a car accident shortly afterwards, which is revealed to be a suicide attempt to avoid telling his family that he's gay and his fiance has left him because of it.

This is an early attempt to deal sympathetically with the pain of a homophobic family and it does so in a sensitive, well crafted way. In addition, Carrey's subtle dramatic performance shows his range in relation to the comedy he's become known for. This film has some notoriety for Jim Carrey's performance, which was early in his career. It's also known for the gay story line, rare in television in those days. It's available on DVD and can be seen in its entirety on YouTube, thanks to an upload by yySh0e.

Update: the full film was taken down from YouTube. I've replaced it with a scene with Jim Carrey.

Obscurity factor: 2 (known to Carrey fans and in the gay community, available on DVD)

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