Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.
Last week we looked at the provocatively titled but rather limp documentary Middle Sexes - Redefining He and She. This week, we turn our attention to Bernard and Doris, a rather enjoyable little film about billionairess Doris Duke and her gay butler Bernard Lafferty. It’s an otherwise lightweight exercise for actors and director alike but it does allow us to talk about that ubiquitous “gay guy/straight gal” pairing we’re all too familiar with.
Bernard and Doris (DVD)
Directed by: Bob Balaban
Written by: Hugh Costello
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Ralph Fiennes, James Rebhorn.
At one point in Bob Balaban’s HBO film, Doris Duke, “the richest girl in the world” as she was known ever since her father left his entire fortune to her, demands that Bernard - the increasingly flamboyant Irish butler she’s grown quite fond of - step aside from driving and let her take the wheel. She’s much too drunk to bear his slow pace and much too bossy to let herself be convinced otherwise. Inevitably, the unlikely couple are stopped by a cop and Doris is asked to step outside the car and told she’ll have to be breathalized. More...