Stated plot: Some kids dance their way to racial
equality in 1960s Baltimore.
Really about: The
inexorable march of progress toward human equality. Not
taking into account its weirdo star in drag (see Wild Hogs
below) or tabloid rumors about Queen Latifah, what is
this movie--conceived and executed by
queers--but a metaphor for gay liberation?
The proof: The
final number, when not referencing the NAACP, isn't
about race so much as it is the "paradise
we've been dreaming of" and nothing
being able to slow down the "rhythm of two hearts in
The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward
Stated plot: Professional hanger-on Robert Ford
both idolizes and despises his boss and best frenemy
James. Then he shoots him dead.
Unrequited love turned ugly in an era when only Walt
Whitman had the self-awareness to know he wanted more than
companionship from his "buddies."
The proof: Much
like the Lucille Ball-obsessed gay child in Todd
Haynes's short film Dottie Gets Spanked,
Casey Affleck's Robert Ford collects bits of
media related to Jesse James and reads every nickel
novel he can find. Scrapbooking like that is kind of a
Stated plot: Manly Spartans trounce
Insanely horny guys on the rampage, all of them
constructing intricate decoy plans that will allow them to
touch other men.
The proof: Try as
they might, they can't shake that "army of
lovers" thing. It doesn't help when
every guy in the movie is half-naked and has digitized
abs like an issue of Physique Pictorial come to life. Also?
Totally homophobic. And that's really all the proof
P.S. I Love You
Stated plot: A young woman grieves her dead
husband via notes and recorded messages sent from
beyond the grave by the thoughtful ghost.
Everything else, but mostly being the center of drama
The proof: You
have gay icons Gina Gershon and Lisa Kudrow as your best
friends, trill in the solitary pleasure of singing Judy
Garland songs into a hairbrush, resolve to be a
stronger lady by modeling future public statements on
Bette Davis dialogue from some old movie, and wonder
whether your dead husband -- if he was so straight -- would
write you notes with sentiments like "You go,
Disco Diva!" Yes, all this stuff happens in the
Stated plot: Four middle-aged straight men have
simultaneous midlife crises, hop on motorcycles, and
then bicker like seething, disappointed libertines
trapped in a dead-end four-way relationship.
Really about: Gay
The proof: This
is John Travolta's show. He can't be shrill or
hysterical enough about gay this and gay that. Stated.
By name. From his own character's mouth. Gay
characters leer at him. He gets violent. Other men
accidentally touch him. He gets violent. The guys want to go
skinny-dipping. He calls them gay. Then one of the Tenacious
D guys sings a Pussycat Dolls song. It's