Movie “Cloudburst” is touching tale of LGBTQ+, senior romance

No matter who you are, it is important to see your life experiences represented on screen



LGBTQ+ representation is becoming more common, but we need to see more elderly couples on screen, too.


Watching shows and movies that fall under the romantic comedy genre, I have noticed a recurring theme: few of them focus on older couples. 

There are plenty for younger couples like teen romances or typical college-to-recent-graduate-aged romances. There are plenty of classics that focus on middle-aged romances, like “Sleepless in Seattle.” 

And most of these romance movies are focused on straight characters. It makes sense, but that doesn’t mean it should stay that way. 

We should all be aware that just because we might not have talked about the LGBTQ+ community as much in the past, it still existed. 

There are seniors who are, hopefully, seeing themselves represented more on the big screen as we approach a more normalized, positive perspective on LGBTQ+ individuals. 

As Pride Month comes to an end, the 2011 movie, “Cloudburst,” directed by Thom Fitzgerald, offers a story that represents not only the LGBTQ+ community but the community’s senior members. 

It has won accolades at various film festivals — including LGBTQ+ specific festivals — such as the Barcelona International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film and the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature. 

The film’s focus is on Stella (Olympia Dukakis) and Dotty (Brenda Fricker), fleeing a nursing home to get married in Canada. They pick up Prentice (Ryan Doucette), a hitchhiker going to visit his dying mother, on the way. 

The film touches upon the struggle of whether or not to come out to family, when to do so, ways that family members may put on blinders if the thought makes them uncomfortable and how some take advantage of people with disabilities. 

The way family members react to romance between two women is a major factor driving Stella and Dotty’s story, if not the main reason for the conflict in this film. 

With a lovable main trio, I find this movie to be a sweet story, one where you really are rooting for Stella and Dotty to overcome the challenges and be happy together. I would like to note, however, that anyone who dislikes crude humor may have a hard time with Stella’s character, but I like her. 

In the end, the film tells a story of love and forgiveness at a relaxed pace. It is a sweet movie, and while I have seen too few movies with LGBTQ+ romance to have a good standard to judge it against, I think it is able to portray love in a way that anyone can relate to. 

For anyone looking for a touching story, I would recommend “Cloudburst,” but with a few warnings. There is plenty of crude humor and language, and like every other romantic comedy I have seen, a fair share of awkward moments. 

Currently, Netflix has a selection of LGBTQ+ movies available, including “Cloudburst,” and “The Half of It,” another great example of representation for minority communities. 

Representation is important for everyone. Being able to see someone you really relate to, someone whose identity connects with yours, in a well-written and compelling story can help affirm a key point – your story matters.