Maurice Jamal's much-anticipated and groundbreaking new film Dirty Laundry is now open in limited release in Los Angeles and New York City. The film tells the story of Patrick (Rockmond Dunbar), a successful black gay man who returns home after many years and comes out to his family. The script has attracted considerable buzz because it may be the first time a mainstream, black film offers a gay protagonist.
"I've always wanted to do a black family film," explains director Maurice Jamal in our review and interview of the feature in the brand new issue of The Advocate. "My idea was ... how does the family accept, react, and, process the coming out of one of their own. We have never seen this before in black film."
Jamal says the personalities and experience of Dirty Laundry are almost universal. "You have these wonderful and wacky characters—just like anybody's family—who have to cope. The wonderfully acerbic, but sweet mom, played by Loretta Devine, the perfect Southern lady, so much like my own mom. The homophobic brother of the gay character. They are all wrestling with Patrick's coming out, and, eventually dealing with it."
"The standout, however, is Loretta Devine as Sheldon’s mother," notes a reviewer in today's New York Times, who calls the movie "comic gold." Devine's character, Evelyn, is descrived "as a fussbudget, chain smoker and world-class chef who proves that a mom’s love conquers all."
The Advocate issue 999 is on newsstands now. Keith Boykin is Dirty Laundry's associate producer and his partner Nathan H. Williams is the executive producer, and, they offer some new details on casting, screening and production.