The Sum of Us


The Sum of Us (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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Movie Info

The relationship between a gay son and his straight father is chronicled in this honest Australian drama. Harry Mitchell is a widower living with his son Jeff. Harry has always accepted his son's sexual orientation, but the sincerity of his acceptance is questioned when Jeff brings a potential lover home.

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Russell Crowe
as Jeff Mitchell
Jack Thompson
as Harry Mitchell
Joss Moroney
as Jeff (age 8)
Des James
as Football Coach
Mick Campbell
as Footballer
Donny Muntz
as Ferry Captain
Jan Adele
as Barmaid
Lola Nixon
as Desiree
Sally Cahill
as Greg's Mother
Bob Baines
as Greg's Father
Stuart Campbell
as Leatherman
Graham Drake
as Leatherman
Elaine Lee
as Woman on Train
Ross Anderson
as Gardener
John Rhall
as Dad's Brother
Helen Williams
as Brother's Wife
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Critic Reviews for The Sum of Us

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

Sexual orientation aside, it's the kind of film that can have you looking past family member faults and focusing on what's important.

May 26, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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

Feb 13, 2007 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

A second look reveals everything wrong with the movie, but on first pass, it's well-performed and enjoyably crafted.

Aug 19, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

An excellent Aussie effort with ripper performances from Crowe and Thompson

May 6, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Effective translation of a theatre piece. Russell Crowe's best performance.

Nov 5, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Plumbs the depths of a loyal and loving relationship between a father and son.

Aug 30, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Sum of Us


A satisfying and somewhat stirring examination of love and family. Crowe and Thompson give solid performances despite limited production values. "The Sum of Us" made me smile, so I guess I gotta recommend it.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


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.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Beautifully acted by two fine actors with a refreshing attitude to a modern father-son relationship.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


[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][/font] [font=Century Gothic][/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][/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]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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