Feature Story > Reel Affirmations

DADDY & PAPA

[CRITIC'S PICK]

Sunday, Oct. 20, 1 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

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Adults who make infantile goo goo ga ga noises at babies are a joke. Or so I thought until I realized with horror that I was doing it myself, and at babies on a movie screen no less. I couldn't help it. This film is that cute.

But it's not really the precious itty, bitty wittle babies that got to me so much as the gay dads who adopt them. Daddy & Papa follows several gay men through their own personal experiences with adoption and parenting, showing both the sweet and the bitter that comes with raising a child as a gay person specifically, and as a person with a life in general.


Directed by one of the fathers, Johnny Symons, who is raising two brothers with his partner, William, the film touches upon several forms of these uncommon families, including lifelong partners, single dads, and “divorced” parents. We are taken through the sometimes-aggravating process of gay adoption, and shown its importance to the system as a whole, which boasts many more kids in need of homes than the straight world can accommodate.

Enough quirky anecdotes -- often starring the kids being their cute wittle baby selves -- keep the film from becoming cynical about the hardships of parenting and the unfairness of laws banning gays from adopting. The editing is smooth and professional, giving the stories momentum but keeping them easy to follow, and the dads are so likable that you'll find that inner-parent who you never knew existed suddenly yearning to change a diaper. -- WD


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