Saturday, January 14, 2006

Not "Breaking" My "Back" to See It

So just how ground-breaking IS "Brokeback Mountain?" I feel funny forming an opinion against it without having seen it, but I've heard so much buzz that I feel that I've feasted without having consumed, if you know what I mean. It's kind of like spending several hours making a've "tasted" of the aromas so much you can't even THINK of eating it!

Lots of my friends have told me that this is a great movie...and these are people who know their stuff and whose judgement I trust implicitly. But I hardly ever go to the movies anymore, because a.) it's expensive (even without popcorn), and b.) I hate being anywhere where I have to sit still and not talk for 2 hours.

More than anything, though, I've felt burned by lots of Hollywood portrayals of "gay" relationships over the years. Is it an accident that the two leading actors in this movie are actually--well, you know--STRAIGHT??

I think not.

And I still haven't forgotten "Philadelphia." Apparently, some opera music and the constant presence of Antonio Banderas are supposed to convey Tom Hanks's "gayness" without getting into the really ocky-poo subject matter. Wouldn't want to offend the breeders who REALLY go see his REAL movies, now would we...? I still remember the buzz at award time then as well ("Tom Hanks delivers an Oscar(R)-winning performance as a gay man--and doesn't even get his hands dirty!" Pun intended...)

I've already read in every review I've seen that this movie is much the same: there's hardly any sex, both characters are married, and it's about a relationship that's doomed. Of course it's doomed. Otherwise, there'd be no Oscar(R) buzz now. We couldn't risk tainting the whole Hollywood franchise by legitimizing or affirming such relationships, now could we? We save that for Tony(R) time...

(Hey, I told you I was jaded and cynical...)

In short, I'm very disillusioned by the "sanitization" of gay relationships between two men. It galls me that there's such a fucking double standard. I'm sure that Heath and Jake had lots of reservations about making this movie. (Men's careers in Hollywood seem to hinge on their "masculinity," even when everyone knows they get pedicures once a week and have hairstylists on call 24 hours a day.) I'm sure that Cher and Meryl Streep didn't have the same worries after "Silkwood."

Maybe I sound like Burgermeister Meisterburger here, but I think I'm giving this one a miss. And when I want to see a movie about a gay relationship that's doomed, I'll see an independent flick with real gay actors. Or else I'll just pop "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" in again. Who knows, maybe I'll even find a high-quality independent about a gay relationship that's NOT doomed.

But one things for sure: mainstream Hollywood won't be putting one out anytime soon.