Torch Song Trilogy covers nine years in the life of Arnold, a female impersonator in a New York night club. Harvey Fierstein, who wrote this 1983 Tony Award-winning drams, also plays the lead role of a fiercely proud homosexual who dreams of marrying Mr. Right and adopting a gay son. Brian Kerwin plays Ed, a bisexual who is torn between his love for Arnold and his loyalty to Laurel (Karen Young). Matthew Broderick stars as Alan, a male model who settles down with Arnold in marital bliss. He is murdered while trying to help some homosexuals who ar being beaten by baseball-bat wielding youth on a school playground. By the time Arnold's widowed mother (Anne Bancroft) visits her son, he is living with Ed and David, an adopted gay teenager.
Paul Bogart directs Torch Song Trilogy in a relaxed manner, drawing out the humor and the heartbreak which make the film so appealing. Arnold finds the warm hearth he so desperately wants, but on the way there are terrible losses. In a violent verbal battle with his mother, who lacks the capacity to accept her son's lifestyle, he says, "There's nothing I need from anyone except love and respect. And anyone who can't give me those two things has no place in my life." This fine drama offers a positie portrait of homosexuality at a time when it is desperately needed. Kudos to all involved in this project which goes straight to the heart.