Wild About Harry Review – Compelling, Engaging and Surprisingly Entertaining

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Wild About Harry, from Global Digital Releasing, presents the story of secrets and lies, truths and consequences, life, loves, hope and family as a recently widowed father moves to Cape Cod to raise his two daughters.

The film begins in animation, when the extent of finding "trouble" meant streaking, buck naked, to the dean's house and running into his daughter and, in a carpe diem split decision, asking her for a date and surprisingly her saying yes.

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The film moves to live action, and we see the man, Harry Goodhart, played by Tate Donovan, and two teen girls, Madeline, played by Danielle Savre, and Daisy, played by Skye McCole Bartusiak, rolling out of a beat-up Volkswagen Bug in the driveway of what we understand will be their new home,

Nestled on Dennis, Cape Cod, the Atlantic Ocean is the backdrop and the beach their backyard. In a moment we understand, Harry who married the dean's daughter and had two beautiful daughters, is a widower and the girls very much miss their mother.

Single, charming, handsome, and English, Harry has already been seized up as quite the catch by the many eligible females living in this idyllic seaside community. As it is such a small town, the appearance of a single apparently eligible bachelor, doesn't go unnoticed by the island's manic matchmaker, Mrs. Brown, played by Anne Ramsey who decides to throw a welcome party where we meet swarm of female suitors, such as the beautiful journalist, Joy, played by Stacey Dash.

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Madeline and Daisy, however, are determined to keep their recently widowed father away from the many women who are ready to help Harry through his grieving period. Soon the girls have settled into a new school, and the new routine when their dad introduces his new business partner, Theo Gibbs, played by Adam Pascal, and explains he will be living in the back room just until he finds a place.

That is until one night, when Madeline's new high school friends give her a taste of a racier Cape Cod. They take her to a notorious underground 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.

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 boyfriend, Sam, played by Cory Sevier and everybody in this Cape Cod 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, played by Susan Anspach, and William Cauldicott, played by James B. Sikking, unexpectedly arrive, and attempt to take the girls away from their father.

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Now, everything Madeline hoped to achieve appears to be lost until the local fisherman's son, Spoke, played by Josh Peck, who reminds her that her family – no matter what shape it takes – will always be her family.

Wild About Harry is unexpectedly compelling and isn't smothered by the gay storyline. The film presents real issues many have experienced told from multiple point of views, layered with obstacles. The ensemble cast deliver solid performances as they navigate the emotional material.

More than another "gay film" Wild About Harry deals with issues of grief, loss, shock, and the volatile emotional roller coaster of teen angst. It is thoroughly engaging and surprisingly entertaining.

The film was the recipient of the 'Best of the Fest' award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the 'Audience Award' at the Seattle International Film Festival, the 'Humanitarian Award' by the City of Cambridge, and a 'Proclamation of Recognition for Furthering Human Rights' award by the City of Palm Springs.

Wild About Harry is available On Demand December 17 from Global Digital Releasing. See it.

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Country: USA.

Language: English.

Year: 2009/ Re-Released 2021.

Director: Gwen Wynne

Writer: Mary Beth Fielder, Gwen Wynne

Producer: Suzan Crowley, James Egan, Mary Beth Fielder, Adam W. Rosen, Gwen Wynne.

Cast: Tate Donovan, Adam Pascal, Stacey Dash, Danielle Savre, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Josh Peck, Corey Sevier, Susan Anspach, James B. Sikking, Anne Ramsey, Johanna Braddy, Jordan-Claire Green, John Savage.

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