The David Dance (2016)

the-david-dance-posterA gay local radio host, David, questions his life as he fights another radio host, tries to find love, and he’s asked to be a father figure by his sister who is adopting internationally.  His life is explored through his relationships with his sister, her ghost, and his boyfriend. The David Dance is written by its star Don Scimé and directed by Aprill Winney who has directed three other features and some television.  Together, they build a personal and touching family drama.  It touches many family and gay issues through the lead, his sister, and his boyfriend.

The story set in Buffalo, talks about everyday issues such as bullying, marriage, divorce, love, children, adoption, death, beliefs, etc. The film approaches these themes in a touching and simple manner that helps the viewers connect with it and its characters. The lead actor also being the writer, he is clearly close to the material and gives a good, subdued almost performance.  Don Scimé gives a performance that brings reality to the part.  He interacts with Guy Adkins as his boyfriend Chris and Antoinette LaVecchia as his sister Kate in a way that feels like he has relationships with them.  His closeness with LaVecchia is reminiscent of a real brother and sister relationship.

Guy Adkins plays a more supportive role and does so with class and caring while Antoinette LaVecchia plays her part more lively and full of plans for the future.  The music by Marc Jackson adds an extra layer of emotion and connection.  The score includes a lot of simple guitar and piano pieces which work nicely with the story and the songs are well selected for the film; having a couple of musicians in the cast of characters made this very, very important, with the sister and her potential adoptive child playing music.  Working with the music is the cinematography by Ian McGlocklin who frames the nature shots and the house ones very well and with a good eye for what works for the scenes and the emotions involved.

The film, with these two elements working with the script, feels cozy and personal. The David Dance is a well-crafted family drama with characters the viewers can care about and want to follow through their rough patches.  The way the story is built brings the viewers in, giving them bits and pieces of information a little at a time, using flashbacks effectively and without becoming an annoyance.  The story is sweet without being overly so, it’s touching and it makes the viewers care.   The film is entertaining while it makes the audience think a bit on where they stand on LGBT issues.

The film comes out just at the right time, the Friday right after National Coming Out Day, a day and week of support for the LGBT community and those still in need to come out.