ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Riding Bareback

So there has been a lot of talk about Brokeback Mountain, and whether or not it will make any money, and how crazy Hollywood is for making a gay cowboy movie that seems to have a limited built-in audience. Many people believe it's a movie that no straight men will be caught dead seeing.

I think that, if it's a good movie (which at this point there are plenty of signs that it is), it's going to do pretty well.

First off, there are a lot of women out there who want to see this movie. Just like men aren't bothered by the sight of two women locking lips, women don't seem to have any objection to a pair of young studly guys taking off their shirts and swapping saliva. Especially because, from what I've heard, it's a character piece that's more than just about gay cowboys -- for one thing, apparently these are married gay cowboys. So there's some angst right there.

The second thing is that I'm not sure how much of a role sexual orientation really needs to play in enjoying a movie. These are stories, about people who lead lives that I don't. Do I have to be a gangster to enjoy a good Mafia tale? I love ER, but I'm not a doctor. Why can't I enjoy a good prairie drama about cowboys, just because they are gay?

I mean, really -- does a movie only work for a straight man like me if one of the main characters in a romance is someone that I'd want to sleep with? Because I liked Moonstruck a lot, but Cher never did anything for me. At all.

I liked The Shawshank Redemption, and Saving Private Ryan, and you can't tell me that there wasn't some secret man-love going on there between scenes.

I'm secure enough in my manhood that I'd go to see Brokeback Mountain in a second.

And if you are a straight guy who needs to get caught up in a movie to enjoy it, well...

Michelle Williams plays the wife of one of the guys, and Anne Hathaway plays the wife of the other. You can always imagine that you are consoling them, in some sort of hot threeway action.

Or you can at least claim to your girlfriend that that's why you have an erection during the movie ;-)

8 Comments:

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Steve Peterson said...

There are a fair number of guys who won't see it just because it's a love story. You'd have a hard time convincing us to see a love story even if it was between Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Danny Stack said...

I read the script early last year. Intelligent and absorbing but a little too even with its mood and pace. But it's a script that will probably come alive on screen through the actors' performances and visual direction so it's probably worth checking out. Gay schmay.

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it will do poorly not because of the gay themes, but because it's a COWBOY DRAMA. (see also, "All the Pretty Horses," etc.) Even Clint knows enough to sell his cowbot dramas as shoot-em-up's!

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger Ismo Santala said...

And it's a *modern* cowboy drama to boot! ;)

When I first heard about the project, I thought the film would take place in the Old West, but apparently the events transpire in the sixties.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous foreigner said...

The studio people said in Newsweek that they are considering women their core audience. And I think it will do reasonably well (more than 40 million) and find an audience. If not now, then later in dvd rentals. Unlike many other releases this year it has an emotional and universal theme that grips you.

With the right kind of awareness it should do even better internationally. The rest of the world is less puritan, of course, but this christian right wing upsurge is uniqely american as well.

My excuse for going to see it might be Michelle Williams. I had a crush on her 7-8 years ago, when she played the wild child on this teen melodrama I used to watch.

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Stephen Benson said...

I read the short story a few years back. A brilliant piece of writing. I don't know how "movie-able" it is. Often when I love a story or book and there's a movie made I stay away. This time, I'll go, if only to applaud the courage of the filmakers for merely trying.

 
At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Leif Smart said...

Perhaps this is one of those movies that will do more business when its released on DVD.

Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing it, and see how they deliver, despite the hype surrounding its content matter.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Dixon Steele said...

As terrific as it may be, and I hear it is, this one is obviously not a Red State movie.

I was in Florida during Thanksgiving and went to see the surprisingly funny "Just Friends". The Brokeback trailer came on and you could feel the unfriendly vibe.

 

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