Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a re-watch.
The Unexpected: Milkwater
We caught this overlooked film just ahead of its digital release last month and found it an unexpected delight. Milkwater follows the story of Milo (Molly Bernard), a single 20-something New Yorker whose messy life approaches Trainwreck-level chaos. Single, directionless and resentful of all her friends getting married and having kids, she stumbles into a gay bar one night run by Roger (Patrick Breen), a single, 50-something drag queen. Milo and Patrick initially bond over their own feelings of loneliness. When Roger mentions he wants to be a single dad through surrogacy, Milo volunteers to carry his baby. Of course, hilarity and chaos ensue as the pregnancy turns the lives of Roger and Milo upside down, and bestows an intimate, if undefined, bond upon the pair.
Much like Together Together earlier this year, Milkwater focuses on the odd friendship between a single dad and his surrogate, albeit with much more overt queerness. And, like that film, the story excels when it focuses on the awkward dynamic between surrogate and doner. Director/writer Morgan Ingari doesn’t shy away from depicting the two main characters as flawed people. Indeed, Milo seems to use her pregnancy as a means of getting attention and bonding with Roger. The plot also makes us question Roger’s judgment in choosing a walking mess like Milo to give birth to his child, and that he might want a baby, in part, as a way of justifying his being single after 50. The early, borderline silly humor of the film’s opening scenes gives way to something much deeper; Ingari, and her movie, love to sneak up on their audience.
Featuring a witty script, two winning lead performances by Bernard & Breen, and a cast that also includes a fun supporting turn by Robin de Jesus, we recommend Milkwater as a fun, topical romp through gay parenthood. If nothing else, it proves that even goofy characters can have their layers.
Streams on Amazon, YouTube, & VUDU.