By Phil Hall | March 3, 2006

“Family Matters” is a documentary about a pair of middle-aged bald gay men who want to have a baby. To facilitate the arrival of their baby, they engage a fat flutist to take an artificial insemination injection. All goes well, as far as the baby is concerned: he is a healthy, happy and very cute. The problem arises when the mother (Dafna) feuds with the husband (Kai) of the man whose sperm went into the baby’s creation (Itamar). Kai is clearly possessive of Itamar, yet his referring to the child as “my son” rankles Dafna no end.

It is fairly depressing to watch three presumably mature adults gets lost in endless jealousies, bickering and harsh comments about the arrangement surrounding the baby’s upbringing. And, of course, this type of misadventure is perfect for tabloid TV fans (even Itamar wonders if he should be on “The Ricki Lake Show”). The film does not take sides, per se, although clearly Itamar is stuck in the middle of the sneering divas on either side of his life. It all winds up with court-ordered mediation which doesn’t really solve anything but only prolongs the problems facing this quarrelsome trio and their shared child.

The only thing stranger than this lopsided configuration is the display affection the gay couple show each other: they use their hands to polish their mate’s bald head, as if it was a bowling ball in need of shining. It is a bit distracting, especially in view of the very serious situation presented here, but for the truly perverse it can be very funny to watch.

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