- David Zak
THE LAKE has great characters stuck in an inane plot
THE LAKE is one of those films you continue to watch because you like the characters but feel bad because they are stuck in such a stupid plot. The good stuff comes from Jordan Gavaris, who plays a gay dad who conceived a kid on the night of his high s school prom/ Shortly after giving the baby up for adaption, he left the country and the child far behind.
Now, 16 years later, he has come home and hopes to bond with the daughter he does not know by spending time with her on a lake that he summered at in his youth. The relationship between father and teen is excellent, made more complicated by race.
I found Gavaris’ performance very appealing, struggling with being a dad, coming to terms with the people of the hamlet he left behind, and dealing with his search for love. It is beguiling and sweet.
Madison Shamoun is terrific as the daughter, dealing with her crush on her hunky step-cousin (Jared Scott) and the somewhat funny mean girls quadruplets. It is great to see Terry Chen as a former all-star hockey player who is not an all-star dad. Travis Nelson plays Riley, who creates art from roadkill and provides some welcome sexual energy. Young Declan Whaley plays a non-binary kid the creative team probably thought was hilarious but is awkward and unnecessary political correctness run amuck.
The rest of the plot is a muddle of dueling claims to the family cabins, power struggles on the boat house board, and silly rituals that mark the passing of the summer.
Julian Doucet is the Executive Producer. The scenery and production values are superb. But a more straightforward show focusing on the family would have made a more substantial impact.
If this father and daughter take a trip away from THE LAKE and all of its silliness, you can bet I will be watching.
The trailer contains spoilers for some of the fun.