Inspired by real events, The Commitment is the story of Robert (Albert M. Chan) and Ethan (Jason Lane Fenton), an interracial gay couple who have been chosen from a pool of hopeful adoptive parents by Victoria (Kerri Patterson), an incredibly pregnant Asian birthmother. The adoption social worker helping to facilitate the adoption, Susan (Mary Niederkorn), works with all three of them to help journey through the awkward discussions, embarrassing questions, intimate revelations and more. Robert, Ethan and Victoria all bond significantly over their time together.
Then, the unexpected happens.
A 20-minute film with a feature-length film worth of emotional resonance, joy and heartbreak, The Commitment is as much about the commitment between Robert and Ethan as it is about their commitment to becoming parents. This commitment is brought beautifully to life by both Chan and Fenton, whose relaxed and authentic chemistry affords this film a refreshing intimacy and universality. Both Chan and Fenton leave a strong impression as both a couple and as prospective parents, with Chan particularly nailing the film's lighter moments. Kerri Patterson and Mary Niederkorn are also both strong in supporting roles and, indeed, this is a film that would be difficult to pull off if not for its tremendously talented cast.
The recently completed film is just now getting ready to start its festival run in Fall 2012, and The Commitment should have absolutely no problem finding a home on both the indie and LGBT film festival circuit.
Production quality for The Commitment is strong throughout, with Ryan Leach's original score, D.P. Andrew Nalband's camera work and Alma Aron Baumwoll's production design all working to enhance the authenticity and naturalism that makes this such an appealing short film.
For more information on The Commitment, visit the film's website linked to the left of this review.