As we watch him bound out to the car hugging an FAO Schwarz-sized teddy bear and affecting a Boy’s Life neckerchief, it's already clear that Josh is Kind Of A Lot. And by the time Greg—the mild-mannered, greying man behind the wheel—is on the receiving end of a startlingly steamy hello kiss, it's clear that the evening is about to slip out of hand. Their first date plays out in episodes of catastrophic awkwardness, with Josh gleefully wrong-footing Greg on a slate of first-date litmus tests—Greg’s dorky sobriety, his insufficient wokeness about preferred pronouns, his passé objection to a little light shoplifting. Though the night concludes as many first dates do, we sense a gulf deepening between the two men.
In its poignant attention to the romantic intractability of two characters of two different generations, Call Your Father reminds me a bit of the great “One Man’s Trash” episode of Girls, albeit with the addition of a haunting reminder that the stakes of loneliness are dreadfully heightened for gay men of Hannah Horvath’s generation.
Whether experienced first-hand or relived via the night-wrecking date across your dinner table, the youth that is so prized in our culture is a force of nature, not something that you posses but that happens to you. In the role he assigns to himself, writer/director Jordan Firstman combines the seduction and the underside of youth’s reckless self-assurance, the dazzling first impression and the late-night comedown. (19 minutes) Starring Craig Chester and Jordan Firstman. Produced by Sarah Winshall.