'Breakfast' Order: Life Lessons, With A Side Of Nice

Noah Bernett as Scot in gaudy Christmas outfit i i

hide captionDeck the halls: Noah Bernett's Scot is a freer spirit than his foster fathers.

Regent Releasing
Noah Bernett as Scot in gaudy Christmas outfit

Deck the halls: Noah Bernett's Scot is a freer spirit than his foster fathers.

Regent Releasing

Breakfast with Scot

  • Director: Laurie Lynd
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Rated PG-13: Language, drug references, gays playing sports.

Ben Shenkman as Sam, Noah Bernett as Scot, Tom Cavanagh as Eric i i

hide captionThree's a crowd: Lawyer Sam (Ben Shenkman, left) and his ex-hockey player partner Eric (Tom Cavanagh, right) may be gay, but they're at a loss about how to handle the animated, uninhibited Scot.

Regent Releasing
Ben Shenkman as Sam, Noah Bernett as Scot, Tom Cavanagh as Eric

Three's a crowd: Lawyer Sam (Ben Shenkman, left) and his ex-hockey player partner Eric (Tom Cavanagh, right) may be gay, but they're at a loss about how to handle the animated, uninhibited Scot.

Regent Releasing

A gay couple — sports lawyer Sam (Ben Shenkman) and sportscaster Eric (Tom Cavanagh) — become reluctant guardians, in Breakfast with Scot, to a flamboyant 11-year-old boy who's more comfortable wearing feather boas than hockey pads.

Young Scot, who arrives in their home sporting that boa and most of his mom's jewelry, is Sam's absent brother's junkie girlfriend's son by another man. (Still with me?) How he comes to be placed, even temporarily, in the care of a couple he's entirely unrelated to is glossed over rather quickly in Sean Reycraft's screenplay.

But it would be churlish to parse the logic of the underlying situation too closely when all the filmmakers are really after is a heartwarming little object lesson in tolerance. By setting up a straw man or two — Eric is hugely closeted, Scot's wiser than his years, the neighborhood bully turns out to be a sweetie — they manage to perch their tidy little dramedy somewhere between sitcom and Movie of the Week.

Credit everyone with a surfeit of niceness and good intentions, but note that in their desire not to offend, the filmmakers have ended up with a story that's too timid to offer much in the way of either entertainment or inspiration. The Scot-has-two-foster-fathers premise suggests the story will explore gay parenting issues, and from the setup scenes, it's reasonable to expect a subplot about pride (gay) and prejudice (anti-gay).

But with the central couple so averse to public displays of affection that even in their own home they might as well be roommates, and with a prospective alternative guardian who's so unsuitable that even Anita Bryant would have trouble sending Scot to live with him, the picture seems to be aiming its tolerance message at the sort of socially conservative audience that's unlikely to be in attendance.

That said, the performances are fine: Noah Bernett's appealingly precocious in the title role, and as his foster dads, Cavanagh and Shenkman don't go for treacle more than the material absolutely requires. Laurie Lynd's direction is competent, though he sometimes lets comic moments resolve themselves so oddly that they don't actually prompt many laughs.

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