Title: Breakfast with Scot
Director: Laurie Lynd
Starring: Tom Cavanagh, Ben Shenkman, Noah Bernett
Distributer: Mongrel Media
Buy Link Amazon Buy/Watch Link
Country of Origin/Language: Canada/English
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A guest review by Lasha
Eric (Tom Cavanagh) lives for all things hockey. Now in his thirties, he’s managed to turn his stint as an ex- Toronto Maple Leaf into a full-time gig as commentator for sports TV. He’s living the dream! But when Eric’s boyfriend Sam (Ben Shenkman) announces that they’re to become temporary guardians of a young boy, Eric’s comfortable world shatters. Enter Scot (Noah Bernett) — a recently orphaned, swishy 11-year-old sissy-of-a-boy — and Eric’s mirror opposite. Freaked out by Scot’s ‘joie de vivre’, Eric and Sam gently nudge Scot away from scented hand cream and all things pink, towards a more ‘acceptable’ pastime – hockey. But after Scot’s disastrous first game, Eric begins to rethink the compromises he’s made in his own life in order to be ‘accepted’.
Breakfast with Scot is a wonderful little film that shows that a family is more than just blood ties. It starts with Eric and Sam finding out that Sam’s irresponsible brother, Billy is the legal guardian of an 11-year-old boy named Scot (that’s with one “t”). However Billy is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has no intention of taking Scot until he finds out there is insurance money involved. (Billy is really an a-hole, a funny a-hole, but an a-hole none-the-less). It is decided Scot will stay with Sam and Eric until Billy comes to get him. Sam and Eric figures this will be only a couple of weeks, but it turns into a couple of months and during this time Scot, Sam and Eric bond and start becoming a family.
It is during this time that in-the-closet Eric decides Scot needs to toughen up or he’s going to be bullied in life, so he enrolls him in hockey (the amazing Graham Greene plays the Little League coach). It is through hockey that Eric and Scot finally find common ground and Scot starts to be the ‘cool’ kid in school. However Sam is not impressed and this becomes a bone of contention between the two men. As the date draws near for Billy to pick up Scot, Eric and Sam’s relationship is struggling and the household is a wreck because Scot is leaving. The climax of the film is touching and wonderful.
What I love about this movie is that every character is unique. Scot, who swishes with the best of them and just wants a family to love him; Eric, the jock who lives in fear the world will find out he’s gay despite the fact his nickname when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs was “Erica”; Sam, who loves Eric despite his flaws and Ryan, the scene-stealing neighborhood juvenile delinquent who becomes Scot’s hockey friend. While the film revolves around Scot and his situation, in reality, the movie is about Eric. Eric, who starts out as a self-absorbed former hockey player now turned sportscaster who lives in a beautiful historic house with his lawyer lover and worries about everyone finding out he’s gay. He doesn’t allow Sam to touch him in public and is in such denial about his true self, you kind of feel sorry for the guy. But when Scot arrives all that changes. Over time you see the change, Eric gets involved in Scot’s life, he allows Sam to put his arm around him when they leave a bar – all these subtle changes make Eric into a better man, husband – and father. (BTW, Eric is really not a jerk to Sam, in the privacy of their home, they are a loving couple and I don’t think Sam would stay unless he knew Eric loved and valued him).
There were times I wanted to hit Eric, but by the end of the film, he’d won me over. His growth and redemption are a key part of plot of the movie and while Breakfast with Scot is a comedy, it does have some endearing dramatic moments. Tom Cavanagh really nails the insecure Eric and Ben Shenkman as the practical, patient Sam is terrific, his little adlibs like touching Eric’s hair or hand, really sells to the viewer that Sam loves Eric and vice versa. But the break-out star is Noah Bernett as Scot, the Christmas carol singing, poodle-belt wearing child whose character breaks all the stereotypes of how a boy is supposed to act. This ensemble cast takes a script that could have been an Afterschool Special and makes it into so much more. I cannot recommend this movie enough. When it first came out it was not available in the United States, so I had to order it from Amazon Canada – it was worth every penny. It is in my Top Ten Favorite Indie Films of All-Time.
Breakfast with Scot is one of those sweet movies you can watch over and over again, as its message reaches out to warm the coldest of hearts.