Review: A self-serving ‘Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro’
“Documentaries are like reality shows, but they’re not fake. They are real,” says Roman Child Shaw. He is one of the titular twins from “Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro” who are the children of musician and songwriter Desmond Child — maker of such hits as Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” and Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ la Vida Loca” — and his partner of 24 years, Curtis Shaw.
Child and Shaw’s look at their “modern family” — achieved through surrogacy — is more like VH1 celeb-reality without the salacious tabloid fodder. The fact that Child and Shaw share writing and producing credits here almost assures it will be a self-aggrandizing puff piece.
Child and Shaw adamantly define their homosexual relationship on heterosexual terms, with Shaw repeatedly referred to as the boys’ “mother.” They and the twins’ biological mother, Angela Whittaker, allegedly arrived at their arrangement via dream visions while on a sojourn to India. They never contemplate the ethical and moral implications of surrogacy, nor articulate the personal significance of parenthood.
When someone as well-heeled as Child invokes his brush with discrimination and systematic oppression in a final plea for equality, it comes off as self-serving. Adoption apparently wasn’t even under consideration before the couple resorted to the presumably costly surrogacy, and the subject of gay adoption rights most certainly isn’t on the agenda of this one-way dialogue.
“Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro”
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 11 minutes.
Playing: At Laemmle Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills.
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