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A review of Common Ground (2000)

Common Ground is a successful made-for-television movie which first aired on Showtime in 2000. Directed by Donna Deitch, the movie is made up of three short stories dealing with the topic of homosexuality. This article reviews the movie written by Paula Vogel, Terrance McNally and Harvey Fierstein.

The stories

A Friend of Dorothy's Set in the 1950s, in the first part of the movie, Dorothy Nelson joins the Navy where she is introduced to lesbianism. Nelson discovers the Friends of Dorothy, the code name for a gay and lesbian group and befriends Billy. Things take a turn for the worse for Dorothy, and following her expulsion from the Navy, she must learn to live with the dissatisfaction of her home town residents, in particular her own mother. Mr Roberts Mr Roberts takes place in the 1970s, and chronicles the tale of closet homosexual teacher Mr Roberts. Not only must Roberts deal with his own secret, but also he suspects one of his students, Tobias, to also be gay. Upon the suggestion of his swimming teacher, Tobias visits a prostitute in order to 'become a man'. This plan, however, backfires as the prostitute encourages him to be true to his feelings. Amos and Andy The final part of the movie skips forward to modern day times and the year 2000. Amos is on the verge of getting married to his boyfriend, however, he faces strong opposition from the townspeople who are reluctant to accept the marriage. Amos struggles to deal with the homophobic attitudes, especially that of his own father.

The cast

Hollywood stars The cast of Common Ground is made up of a handful of Hollywood stars and household names from popular American series. Some of the biggest names to star in the movie are Brittany Murphy as Dorothy Nelson, Jason Priestley as Billy, Beau Bridges as Father Leon, and Margot Kidder as Mrs Nelson. Other recognisable television actors include Eric Stoltz as Johnny Boroughs, Johnathon Taylor Thomas as Tobias and Helen Shaver as Janet. Co-writer Harvey Fierstein also assumes an acting role as Don.

Additional movie information

All three stories of the movie are set in the fictional town of Homer, Connecticut and serve to highlight the changing attitudes to homosexuality in the US. The full movie can be watched online at Veoh.com

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