Today Bruce Vilanch jets off to the set of OY VEY MY SON IS GAY!, his latest movie. What’s it about?:
“Oy Vey, My Son Is Gay” is the story of the Hirsch’s, a Jewish family living in the North Shore of Long Island where every Friday night, Shirley Hirsch invites another “perfect” girl for Shabbat dinner in hopes that her son, Nelson, will marry a nice Jewish girl. Unbeknownst to the Hirsch’s, Nelson is in love with a neighborhood Italian boy, Angelo Ferraro. But not only is Nelson in love with Angelo, he lives with him.
Shirley goes to Nelson’s apartment and meets Angelo, who claims he is a decorator (to not divulge Nelson’s secret life). Shirley also meets a downstairs neighbor, Playboy centerfold “Sybil” (who is Nelson’s cover). Shirley, believing Sybil is Nelson’s girlfriend, is a little concerned that Sybil isn’t Jewish but resigns to the fact that if her son is happy- “let him be with a Goy”. Nelson’s father, Martin, is rather pleased with his son’s girlfriend bragging, “My son is a cocksman!”
Nelson can’t bring himself to tell his parents that he is gay, but after a long and emotional argument with Angelo, he agrees to bring Angelo to a family wedding. During the ceremony, Nelson breaks the news to his parents, which spreads very quickly to the rest of the wedding guests.
Shirley and Martin, distraught, confused and “freaked out”, begin their quest to understand “why” this could happen to them. They continuously blame each other and even seek the aid of a psychiatrist. Martin is very curious and begins his research of Nelson’s life to find out why and how his son became gay. He even goes into a gay bar to get hit on. At the bar he sees his brother-in-law and slowly starts finding out that his world is full of gay men.
Angeloâ€™s parents, Carmine Ferraro, also cannot believe their son is gay.
After much debate amongst them, the Hirsch’s and the Ferraro’s finally meet, and though the Mothers are kind and sympathetic towards one another, the Fathers start accusing each other of being the genetic cause and main influence in bringing their sons to “homosexuality.” To the extent that they almost come to blows in a restaurant, only to be interrupted by a serenading musical group and a “break into song” moment by the Mothers.
Both families continue to try to hide the fact their sons are gay from their friends and co-workers, as they are embarrassed. One night, on the television news, both sons are interviewed- “The State and City Government has just approved the adoption of a child by a gay couple”. Nelson and Angelo are this couple. The secret of Nelson and Angelo is public knowledge and their controversial stand and action to adopt a child now has the two families in hysterics.
In a culminating third act, the two families must work through their conflicts and unite to defend their son’s cause. Now national headlines and part of a media frenzy, in a dynamic and emotional confrontation, the two families stand up and fight for their gay sons rights against opposition, including a “good ol’ fashion street brawl” against a violent mob of protestors.
In an emotional victory for the two families and the country, the Hirsch’s and the Ferraro’s not only accept the fact their sons are gay but realize how much they love them. Like a good “Yiddish Mama”, Shirley immediately embraces the fact that she and Martin have become Grandparents to the little boy Nelson and Angelo have adopted. After a surprise wedding, the Carmine’s arrange a communion in their church but Uncle Moisha leaves no room for discussion as he leads a brigade for a Bris (circumcision).
A story about how far we have come, and that we still have a ways to go…
Prince Marcus von Anhalt