TO BE TAKEI
Review by Mark Schwab
This is a very entertaining look at an interesting man who knows who he is and charges full steam ahead for LGBT civil rights while somehow never being anything less than dignified even when he is roasting William Shatner ("Bill, my name is pronounced TAKEI...as in TOUPEE!"). The man profiled? George Takei, a.k.a "Mr. Sulu" from the original Star Trek series.
The "Mr. Sulu Doc" turns out to be a charmer. George Takei and his husband Brad prove more than capable of being comfortable in front of the prying camera as it follows them from conventions, stage rehearsals, gay pride parades and other personal appearances. Takei is a busy dude, clearly in demand and a marvelously fit 75 year old who looks as if he hasn't gained a pound since his "Star Trek" days and shows almost boundless energy.
Although light in tone with plenty of wonderful laughs and naughty double-entendres (especially when the crew follows him into Howard Stern's studio), there is some heft when Takei details his family's suffering during the WW2 internment of Japanese Americans. It affected Takei deeply and his eloquent and dignified speeches before audiences is quite a testament to his toughness.
Although you expect Takei to be polished and glib on camera (and he certainly is), his husband Brad proves to be a pleasant surprise as his fussy,detail-oriented manager. Brad also has a good sense of humor and is not afraid to put George in his place where warranted. Brad looks like he is enjoying the film crew and is proud of his husband's accomplishments. It is obvious this is a strong marriage where mutual love and respect is the order of the day, every day.