The Sum of Us (1995)
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Three years before he became a household name in Hollywood with 1997's L.A. Confidential, Russell Crowe starred in this Australian drama, the directorial debuts of Geoff Burton and Kevin Dowling. Crowe plays Jeff Mitchell, a young gay man and the son of widower Harry Mitchell (Jack Thompson). The two live together while they both search for a special someone with whom to spend their lives. And while Harry is more than comfortable with Jeff's sexuality, his new lady friend isn't, leading to tension and a personal struggle for Harry. Based on the play by screenwriter David Stevens, The Sum of Us was the 1994 recipient of the Austalian Film Institute's Best Adapted Screenplay award. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi … More
as Harry Mitchell
as Jeff Mitchell
as Joyce Johnson
as Young Jeff
as Greg's Father
as Leather Man
as Woman on Train
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Critic Reviews for The Sum of Us
The novelty of this Australian working class comedy of manners is that sexual orientation is not a probelm. Father and gay son (nicely played by Russell Crowe) enjoy the kind of warm, amiable relationship thast's unheard of and unseen in American films
A second look reveals everything wrong with the movie, but on first pass, it's well-performed and enjoyably crafted.
An excellent Aussie effort with ripper performances from Crowe and Thompson
Effective translation of a theatre piece. Russell Crowe's best performance.
Plumbs the depths of a loyal and loving relationship between a father and son.
There are noble notions here, but the film is far too heavy-handed to realize them fully.
Audience Reviews for The Sum of Us
In 1994, I would imagine the idea of father and son, straight and gay, accepting each other without question would have been more groundbreaking. Hopefully in the 20 years since, this would not be such an unusual story.More
Beautifully acted by two fine actors with a refreshing attitude to a modern father-son relationship.More
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Sum of Us," Jeff(Russell Crowe), a 24-year old plumber who lives at home with his dad, Harry(Jack Thompson), is attracted to Greg(John Polson), a gardener he has talked with at the pub a few times. Jeff feels that this is the big night and Harry promises to stay out of the way.(Despite their friendship, the two men do have a tendency to drive each other crazy as housemates.) Harry, a widower, is also planning on getting back into the dating scene as he contacts a dating service and arranges a date with Joyce(Deborah Kennedy), a middle-aged divorcee.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Sum of Us" is about how playing a gay character in a movie may not necessarily be detrimental to an actor's career. Its positive stance on openmindedness sometimes threatens to push the movie over the line into public service announcement territory but it avoids that fate by having a good eye for characterization. Also, its message about acceptance is broad enough to include living at home with parents and working class occupations. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with working with your hands. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The central theme of the movie is love and how it is passed down from generation to generation. Some people may be freaked out by Harry's behavior but in an ideal world, that is how fathers should act. But to be honest, I have no problems with the cordially laconic relationship I have with my father.[/font]
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