Wild About Harry – daughter tries to find her father a suitor, then finds out he already has one
Many single ladies in Dennis, Cape Cod think that Harry Goodhart (Tate Donovan) is quite the catch. He’s a handsome Englishman, who just moved to this seaside destination with his teenage daughters, Madeline (Danielle Savre) and Daisy (Skye McCole Bartusiak). Madeline is determined to keep their recently widowed father away from the swarm of female suitors, such as the beautiful journalist, Joy (Stacey Dash), and the manic matchmaker, Mrs. Brown (Anne Ramsay).
That is until one night, when Madeline’s new high school friends take her to a notorious underground gay disco in Provincetown. Through the throngs of drag queens and gay men, Madeline sees her father dancing with a man. The double shocker is that the man is Mr. Gibbs (Adam Pascal), recently introduced by her father as his new business partner and who just moved into the back of their house.
Madeline tries desperately to change her father. She devises every method possible to find the perfect wife. Soon, however, Madeline’s family secret becomes the talk of the town, when she mistakenly confides in her new friend, Sam (Corey Sevier) and everybody in town becomes involved in one way or another, weighing in on the acceptability of two men raising children together.
Ultimately, Madeline’s worst nightmare comes true, when her maternal grandparents, Martha and William Cauldicott (Susan Anspach and James B. Sikking), unexpectedly arrive and take the girls away from their father. Now, everything Madeline hoped to achieve is lost. It’s the local fisherman’s son, who reminds her that her family – no matter what shape it takes – will always be her family.
Interesting indie flick that unfortunately tries too hard. The overall storyline is one that was all too common in the early 1970s, when this film takes place. Being gay was not acceptable, and repercussions most definitely would happen should anyone find out about your sexuality. It would have made a better story if this was more the focus, but instead it was more from the point of view of the daughters and their embarrassment of their father. The use of cameras for split screen and and slow motion effects were used way too often with no apparent reason, which heavily distracted from the context. While there is the storybook ending when the girls come around and accept their father and his new partner, the closing scene is off Madeline walking off into the sunset with her new boyfriend, whereas a more appropriate ending would have been to have Harry and his partner in that situation, as there relationship just seemed to have been left hanging. Worthy of watching, but don’t expect anything special or out of ordinary for this one.
Watch for a great scene where Mr. Gibbs plays piano and sings the classic 1920s Wild About Harry tune, originally written for the Broadway show, Shuffle Along. Two of the more popular recordings by Judy Garland and Peggy Lee are below for your listening pleasure.
WILD ABOUT HARRY is available On Demand December 17 from Global Digital Releasing.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.