Jason Karman and Gorman Lee’s “Golden Delicious” is a fine coming-of-age story with a coming-out story we’ve seen all too often.

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“Golden Delicious” General Information

Director Jason Karman
Screenplay By Gorrman Lee
Based On N/A
Date Released (Film Festival -NewFest ) October 12, 2023
Genre(s) Drama


Film Length 2 Hours
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
Jake Cardi Wong
Aleks Chris Carson
George Ryan Mah
Andrea Leeah Wong
Janet Claudia Kai
Valerie Parmiss Sehat

Content Rating Explanation

“Golden Delicious” is currently not rated, but features profanity, sex, nudity, and mild violence. 

golden delicious

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

When you hear the words “gay romance movie,” what comes to mind? What do you think the primary conflict will be? Throughout decades of cinema, the conflict within gay love stories in the media has stubbornly remained the same. While LGBT+ stories are finally getting more diverse, “Golden Delicious” focuses on a familiar plot clothed in a coming-of-age tale. 

“Golden Delicious” primarily follows Jake (Cardi Wong), a rising senior in high school who feels pressure in all sorts of life directions. Jake feels pressure to succeed in basketball from his dad George (Ryan Mah), he feels pressure to have sex from his girlfriend Valerie (Parmiss Sehat), and he feels pressure to be the happy child in his family as his sister Janet (Claudia Kai) and mom Andrea (Leeah Wong) bicker about the family’s Chinese restaurant. Jake doesn’t get the chance to think for himself until a new neighbor moves in next door. 

Aleks (Chris Carson) exudes confidence with his outgoing and encouraging personality. He excels in basketball, knows what he wants, and is openly gay. When Jake and Aleks meet, Jake is almost immediately attracted to Aleks. Jake stares longingly at his body, scrolls through his social media profiles, and can’t help but smile when thinking about him. As the two get closer, their trust and clear attraction for each other grow stronger. But Jake struggles to connect conflicting sides of his identity. What does Jake want? Who does he want to be? Any move Jake makes is destined to disappoint someone in his life, but Jake is disappointing himself most of all. 

“Golden Delicious” shows the common gay conflict of coming out. Jake spends most of the movie repressing his feelings for another man. But “Golden Delicious” is at its most intriguing when conveying the family dynamic at the core of its story, when the parents and siblings share stories of generational acceptance, struggle, and desire. But like Jake himself, “Golden Delicious” attempts to balance multiple stories and leaves some to fall.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.


Jake is a high school senior who faces pressure about who to be and what to want. While he plays basketball every day, he’d rather be taking pictures. When his girlfriend wants to have sex, he’d rather be scrolling through pictures of Aleks. Jake feels like his wants will hurt those he cares about, so he remains silent.


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Aleks is the new kid in town and Jake’s next-door neighbor. Aleks’ friendliness, encouragement, and basketball skills make him popular with Jake’s friends. Aleks is openly gay, and while comfortable with his sexuality, he makes Jake question his own.

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George and Andrea

George and Andrea are Jake and Janet’s parents. While at some point they were happy, the pressure of running a restaurant has turned their marriage into constant bickering. They also put pressure on their children to live the lives they wish they had.


Janet is Jake’s older sister and an aspiring chef. She enjoys making meals for her family and pays for her own schooling, but she faces apprehension from her parents about following her culinary dreams. 


Valerie is Jake’s supportive girlfriend. She wants him to succeed and wants to have sex with him quite often. She may be a high school senior’s dream girlfriend, but Valerie is unaware of her boyfriend’s inner turmoil.


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive) 


The Inclusion of Generational Trauma

“Golden Delicious” opens with George and Jake playing a game of basketball that quickly turns violent and bitter. “Golden Delicious” delicately portrays the parents’ and children’s desires by explaining what each party wants, how they grew up, and why that creates conflict. No one is the bad guy; they all want what’s best for each other. The scenes of the family interacting is “Golden Delicious” at its most empathetic and exciting. Focusing on the sister’s desire to become a chef despite how the restaurant business is tearing her family apart may have made a better movie. 

Low Points

The Cartoonish Behavior of High Schoolers

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Being a teen can be embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as “Golden Delicious” conveys. The bullies are cartoon villains, the friends are an afterthought, and how teens interact with social media feels like a distant observation of how an adult thinks teens interact on social media. If “Golden Delicious” was shown to a room of teens, they may laugh at some pivotal scenes because it’s simply not how teens today behave. 

On The Fence

The Predictable “Gay Conflict” Story

I understand many LGBTQ+ stories depict someone struggling with coming out or fearing their relationship is forbidden because it’s still a common conflict happening today. But the movie feels stunted as Jake wrestles with his sexuality, like the audience could check off boxes for what happens next between Jake and Aleks the moment they’re attracted to each other. 

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Who Is This For?

Fans of LGBTQ+ stories, coming-of-age stories, and high school dramas might enjoy “Golden Delicious.” 


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Love, Simon
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. Moonlight

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

golden delicious
Golden Delicious (2023)- Review and Summary
“Golden Delicious” is at its most intriguing when conveying the family dynamic at the core of its story, when the parents and siblings share stories of generational acceptance, struggle, and desire. But like Jake himself, “Golden Delicious” attempts to balance multiple stories and leaves some to fall.
The Attention on Generational Trauma
The Cartoonish Behavior of High School Characters
The Predictable “Gay Conflict” Story

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