Rain Beau’s End is a powerful and overall bleak drama about a lesbian couple adopting a boy with a chromosome disorder.
Rain Beau’s End follows a lesbian couple, Hannah (Janelle Snow) and Jules (Amanda Powell), as they adopt a four-year-old boy named Beau. However, behavioral issues and subsequent tests reveal that their son has an extra Y chromosome, a disorder known as XYY Syndrome, which was believed to cause aggression in boys. The movie follows the family into Beau’s adolescence, where his violent outbursts ruin Hannah’s mayoral career and drive a wedge between Hannah and Jules.
The movie’s decision to not show Beau on screen throughout the course of the movie is a bold choice with mixed results. It’s a huge relief that the movie doesn’t show Beau’s violent outbursts on screen as the imagery of the aftermath is striking on its own. However, Beau ends up not feeling like a fleshed-out character and the majority of the movie involves characters sitting around discussing him.
Both Hannah and Jules frequently discuss therapy for Beau and the reactions to his outbursts throughout the movie. However, the audience never gets to see any positive moments or discussions between Beau and his mothers. While the care for Beau is evident, particularly in Jules’s case, the audience does not feel the same sympathy for Beau until the movie’s ending.
In addition, seeing more positive moments between Beau and his mothers would also help break the stigma of XYY Syndrome. In reality, the idea of boys with XYY Syndrome being more predisposed to violence has been disproven by further research. The movie itself states that boys with the disorder experiencing aggression as severe as Beau does is overall rare. Focusing on the most extreme case of the disorder might worsen the stigma against the syndrome and mental illness overall.
The relationship of Hannah and Jules is an interesting one, as the two characters are very much opposites. Hannah spends much of the movie focused on her mayoral campaign and her backup career after she is forced to resign as mayor. Jules is more carefree and spends her time working at her café. Despite the tension that Beau causes between them, the movie takes great care to show the love and passion that the two have for each other throughout the years.
However, the two are driven further apart from each other throughout the course of the movie and it creates questions of whether the two will ever be able to work things out or if they should even try. The strong performances from both actresses and the chemistry between the two make the arguments between them both compelling and heartbreaking.
The supporting cast around Hannah and Jules is also strong. Both women have strong friendships with other women who are both supportive and have personalities that bring moments of levity to the drama filled film. Hannah’s father (Ed Asner) adds a layer of complexity to the family dynamic in his brief appearance, as he is uncomfortable about Hannah and Jules’s relationship and is initially skeptical about Beau’s diagnosis.
The initial plot of Hannah running for mayor is also compelling, as she and Jules partly use Beau’s adoption to improve their family image to potential voters. Because of this, the two have to deal with homophobic criticism during the campaign, and Jules at one point accuses Hannah caring more about their image then their family. The issue of Hannah being unable to tell Beau that she loves him creates even more drama between her and both Beau and Jules. While these different conflicts add layers to the story, the combination of all of the drama makes the story seem bleak for much of the movie.
The conflict between Hannah and Jules and Beau finally reaches a breaking point when Beau is seventeen years old. Jules, needing a break from everything, decides to go help people in Afghanistan and Beau’s latest run-in with the law forces him to make a choice between prison and the army. When Jules is taken hostage in Afghanistan, Hannah finally admits to Beau over the phone that she’s always loved him. After seeing Hannah struggle with her relationship with Beau throughout the movie, the phone call between the two is a satisfying development.
Unfortunately, Beau is killed after his unit is sent in to rescue Jules. While Beau loses his life in the process, it’s satisfying that he is the one to bring Hannah and Jules back together again after being the one to drive them apart over the years. Once reunited, the two get a fresh start and move into the cabin Jules had been eyeing and saving up for over the years. After all of the drama throughout the movie, the hopeful ending brings the story together nicely and allows them to be together once again without much of their previous struggles.
Rain Beau’s End is far from the feel-good movie of the year and will no doubt be difficult for some to sit through due to the tough issues presented and the mounting drama throughout. However, strong performances and a satisfying conclusion make the movie a compelling story.
Rain Beau’s End is now available on Lesflicks Video on Demand.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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