For his first feature film writer/director Mike Roma reunites with actor Patrick Reilly who starred in his successful TV series Danny the Manny about a cute gay out-of-work actor in Hollywood having to become a nanny to a surly 6 year old simply to survive. This time round Reilly plays Danny a rather obnoxious, aspiring but unemployed gay screenwriter, and even though his character is beyond annoying, Reilly the actor puts in such a winning performance that we cannot help but like him.
The story is a fresh take on the whole mother/son dynamic in what appears to be an unhealthy relationship with Joan (Kathryn Erbe) a single-parent indulging her spoilt teenage son to the point of letting him even share her bed. We should hasten to add that this is no oedipus complex just the case of a lazy youth who considers this part of the home comforts he wants to make life in New Jersey bearable whilst he waits to return to L.A. where he just graduated from college.
However the whole arrangement has to drastically alter when Joan is egged on by her best friend Lisa (the wonderful Kathy Najimy) to jump back into the dating pool again by creating an online profile. Danny, with more than a hint of jealously, is dismissive of his mother’s efforts particularly as he never manages to have any success on gay hook-up sites. He is then more than annoyed when she has possibly hit the jackpot on her very first attempt when she meets Chester (James Le Gros).
Now forced to move back into his own bedroom and take on a part time menial job at the Library, Danny seeks refuge with Kris (Michael Rosen) one of his old school pals who has a steady supply of pot to smoke. As the two of them start to bond more, Danny suggests they take a road trip to L.A. together as he is determined to get back there somehow. Kris is more than keen to go along with this, but then when Danny misreads all the friendliness and plants a kiss on the horrified straight-boy’s lips, this immediately blows all his chances of both the trip and his continued friendship.
He is not the only one who has to deal with some of the harsher elements of the real world as Lisa has just discovered that her husband of 30 years has been continually unfaithful and she throws him out of the house. Meanwhile Joan who had been the only one who seemed to have no future, is now radiant in her new found happiness with a boyfriend who looks like he is going to be around for a long time.
Roma however who had evidently used elements from his own life for the story does however ensure that before it all plays out Danny does in fact wake up and smell the roses giving this very entertaining and touching comedy the happy ending that it so deserved.
Probably the funny part of the piece is the way Roma portrays how the generations differ when it comes to ‘dating’ as Joan is all about billing and cooing on the phone for hours, whereas Danny is trying to swipe right on the endless array of dick pics that he is sorting through to find a ‘suitor’ online.