Director: Angela Pope
Stars: Martin Donovan, Joely Richardson
Available on DVD - order here
This trite hand wringer can’t explore the tensions of a nasty custody battle that’s been triggered by the homosexuality of one of the parents, since it’s too busy careening along the hollow reed that is Gay Pride Highway 101.
Pensive little Oliver’s (Sam Bould) father Martyn (Martin Donovan) is a doctor, and he’s a loving, attentive parent. He lives in a great house with his quiet, supportive boyfriend, they have a good sex life, they never fight or fall out of rhythm.
Oliver’s flaky mother Hannah (Joely Richardson), on the other hand, has a shrewy tinkle to her eye, and though she too loves Oliver, she’s generally irresponsible and hooked on her mean boyfriend, who she knows beats Oliver up, but in her slutty haze, forgives anyway.
No surprises so far, and there’s none to follow either. We know from the start that Martyn is the better father, that his relationship is superior to Hannah’s, that her boyfriend is a pig, etc etc. However, Hollow Reed doesn’t demonstrate or even suggest that gay couples can be good parents, since Oliver, trapped with his screw-loose mother, would be better off in any other random pair of safe hands.