Comedy and abortion rarely mix in film — Alexander Payne tried it with Citizen Ruth in 1996 — but director Don Roos (pictured) now adds his film Happy Endings to the list. (Laura Dern of Citizen Ruth is in the cast.)
In case abortion didn’t make the film edgy enough, it also includes a sexual encounter between stepsiblings, a gay semen donor wondering whether his contribution has benefited lesbian friends and a woman seducing both a young gay man and then his heterosexual father.
On perhaps the most volatile note, Lisa Kudrow depicts a young woman who chooses not to abort but to give her son up for adoption.
Roos and his partner, actor and producer Dan Bucatinsky, have adopted a child, and Roos said in an interview Tuesday on NPR’s Fresh Air that this has affected his thinking about abortion.
“My politics changed a lot, in a way, when I became a father, because I depend upon young women and young men choosing not to abort. All my life I’ve been a right-to-choose kind of guy, but secretly hoping that there were girls who thought it was wrong,” he told Terry Gross.
“We were hoping to find a girl who thought abortion was wrong and yet gay parents were a fabulous idea — so it’s a very narrow group,” he added, prompting one of Gross’ knowing chuckles.
Roos is thoughtful and funny on other topics, including gay stereotypes and how he has never felt more free as a gay man, even while the climate regarding gay marriage is not what he would prefer. Roos also notes the irony that watching the campy gents on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy helped the birth mother of his adopted child to be more open to the idea of gay parents.
He expresses gratitude for whatever gay-rights gains emerge from whatever sources. And though Roos comes across as too polite to say it himself, he’s taking down some stereotypes that deserve to fall.