Our Rating: ★★★☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Focuses on the trials and tribulations of five gay and lesbian individuals who all share the same birthday.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2002
Duration: 97 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Yen Tan
Writer: Yen Tan
Starring: Benjamin Patrick, Michelle E. Michael, John Frazier, Devashish Saxena, Ethel Lung, Denton Blane Everett, Xiao Fei Zhao, Lynn Chambers, Derik Webb, Chip Gilliam, Natalie Thrash, Debbie Rey, Kandie Delley, Truett Griffin, Ryan Harper
Watch It Now
Buy It Now
Rent It
Watch Now at TLA Buy the dvd from at Amazon.com Rent the dvd from Netflix - US and  Canada

Happy BirthdayOne might think that a film entitled Happy Birthday would be filled with joy and celebration. Instead, this black and white production focuses on the trials and tribulations of five gay and lesbian individuals who all share the same birthday. We see their life struggles, and only one of the five stories really ends happily.

Jim (Benjamin Patrick) is an overweight gay man who has just won telemarketer of the year at his job, but he must face the put downs of co-workers and growing self esteem issues over his appearance. Ron (John Frazier) runs an ex-gay ministry but is caught out in a lie as a church member finds him renting gay porn. His hypocrisy is alarming.

Javed (Devashish Saxena) is Pakistani and applies for asylum in the US since his family has threatened to kill him. He is the only one happily in a relationship with Greg (Denton Blane Everett), a gay porn star. Kelly’s (Michelle E. Michael) girlfriend has just left her. When an old friend calls and invites her over, she’s hopeful that the two will finally get together, but is crushed to find the friend happily married to a man.

And finally, Tracy (Ethel Lung) deals with a visit from her mother from Taiwan. She tries to de-dyke the apartment, but nosy Mom (Xiao Fei Zhao) finds the box of books, etc. Worried about her mother’s traditional Taiwanese views, Tracy can’t believe how supportive her mom is, loving her daughter no matter what.

This is a low budget production that especially suffers from sound problems. The acting is uneven, but some of the stories can be quite compelling at times, other times (eg Kelly) not very interesting at all. (AB)