The Reception is a twisted tale of love and deception set in the snowy New York countryside. Jeannette, a French woman, and Martin, a gay black artist, live a serene life together in their relationship of convenience. She claims to be escaping the "asshole men" of New York City; while his excuse is that he needs quiet to paint. Unexpectedly, Jeannette's daughter, Sierra, arrives with new husband Andrew in tow. Jeannette is surprised not only by the new son-in-law, but also by the appearance of her daughter with whom she has a strained relationship. So, Jeannette decides to throw the couple a party-after all entertaining is what she does best. As the day of the impromptu wedding reception draws closer, each character begins to divulge dark secrets, hidden flaws, and intimate confrontations that twist into a familial web of betrayal, lies, and sexual awakenings. The cast fulfills the emotional complexities of their characters. Pamela Holden Stewart plays Jeannette with a light, content façade and flawlessly descends into multiple co-dependencies on cue. Darren Sills-Evans' closed-down Martin is permeated with frustration, as he hides from his past unknown. Margaret Burkwith and Wayne Lamont Sims bring youthful freshness to the film as Sierra and Andrew, portraying them with mysterious appeal. Director John G. Young has crafted a triumphant psychological drama laced with sexual, racial and political undertones.
The first feature film by John G. Young, Parallel Sons, opened in New York in 1998 after having played more than 30 film festivals around the world. After its premiere in the dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival it went on to win best feature awards at the Florida Film Festival, The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The Village Voice called it "one of the best independent films of the decade." Young's other work includes directing numerous shorts, documentaries and music videos for which he has won more than 40 international awards.