We’ve covered 10 films that depict the struggle for LGBT equality, 10 gay films that you Queerty names as must-sees, and even 9 gay films that are perfect for date night… but what about the gay-themed movies that queer folks hated? Yep, there’s a Reddit threadfor that. And here are a selection of responses, edited for readability. See if you agree with their points…
Call Me By Your Name
“I didn’t like Call Me By Your Name. I mean, it was beautifully shot and well-acted. The monologue by Elio’s father at the end was a lovely piece of scripting. But I found it needlessly longwinded, dull, and in parts downright peculiar. Considering it’s set during the early ‘80s, I thought not even mentioning HIV and AIDS was odd. I also found Armie Hammer — who I do rate as an actor, generally — utterly unconvincing as a 24-year-old. It was like… come on, guys. This dude’s 30-plus and looks it. Which makes his entanglement with a 17-year-old — and again I’m conscious that in the plot Elio does most of the pursuing — feel somewhat ickier than it was probably intended to be.”
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The Birdcage and The Kids Are All Right
“This might be a bit random, but I hate when movies have a gay character that can turn ‘straight,’ especially when convenient for the plot. Like in The Birdcage, Armand had sex with a woman just to see what ‘straight guys raved about’ or whatever. Or in The Kids Are All Right, the whole premise of that movie is a lesbian cheating on her wife for a man, even though she says she’s gay. We don’t just turn like that, goddammit.”
“I had trouble with Moonlight. Great script and acting, but it bothered me how it was portrayed as groundbreaking. Show me a gay sex scene as opposed to an off-camera handjob, and then we’ll talk about groundbreaking.”
“I didn’t like that movie when it came out. I was still firmly in the closet and looking forward to a mainstream gay movie hitting the theaters, but when I eventually saw it, I just couldn’t fathom what people saw in it. The relationship between the characters was so toxic and destructive. The indulgent nature-shots slowed the movie down to a crawl, and one of the main characters died at the end (a fate shared by far too many queer characters in cinema). Even after rewatching it in university, I couldn’t sit through all of it because of how damn boring it is.”
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“Too sanguine about the coming out process. I shudder to think of the teens who watched it, got false impressions, came out, and then were kicked out of the house, sent to gay rehab, etc.”
Pretty much all of them
“I have pretty much hated all of them except Fourth Man Out, which actually had a decent, believable storyline not fraught with conflict and despair. Brokeback was terribly boring and depressing, as was God’s Own Country. 99% of gay-themed movies focus on cliche and stereotypes. There is always crippling conflict and heartbreak because they are gay. I don’t want to watch a movie that depresses me or focuses on ’the struggle’ of being gay. Give me a movie where the main character is gay but that isn’t the coolest thing about him. Make the movie about solving crime or something. Instead of the guy solving the case and winning the beautiful girl, give him a guy instead. Being gay shouldn’t define your life, or a movie. It can be an important part, but not the focus.”
I had to laugh at the one who hated Love, Simon because they thought it misrepresented the coming out story of a teen by having them kicked out and/or sent to conversion therapy. Whomever that person is needs to read up on IYG, the Forney center and the countless organizations who assist gay youth. You mean, welcome out of the bubble but shit.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
100% Agree, that was a Gay themed movie where he actually got the guy and it showed well adjusted accepted Gay kids with a happy ending.
I didn’t like Love, Simon either. Simon’s character is not charismatic at all, he acts more like a bully than the “good guy”.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Brokeback Mountain was a cinematic steaming pile of poo..
The supposed first mainstream movie that showed two miserable guys in a “relationship”? Sorry, they were yearly fcuk buddies. And the ending was so dam depressing. I brought some friends who I had just came out to and they replied they hoped that wasn’t how all Gay guys lives played out….
You DO remember that the movie took place in the early ’60s, not 2010, correct?
As for “dam depressing,” I think you mean “damned depressing.” And this IS what life was like if one was gay back then, a fact you seem oblivious of.
I suspect the film was difficult for those who are in their 20s or 30s, because they have no perspective on what life USED to be like before THEY came along. Fortunately for you, you missed the intense hatred of gays and Blacks evident in that period. I’m glad for you. It’s also why you don’t understand the film and the characters.
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and I can tell you that BBM struck a cord in me because of how we had to hide and homophobia that was still so rampant then. I know firsthand what it is like to have straight men beat the hell out of you because they figure out you are gay. Like Oranos, I say thank your lucky stars you don’t live through that today.
“Brokeback” sucked big-time! It was hella boring and bleak, the sex scenes were unrealistic (jumping right into anal sex the first thing? Closeted guys into deep kissing? On what planet???), the acting was forced and the leads had no chemistry with each other. “Brokeback” is what some Straight people think Gay life was like for us before Stonewall. There were challenges (and there still are), but believe me, it wasn’t all a big pity party and generous servings of angst casserole! And we didn’t all carry on behind the backs of wives and girlfriends.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Oranos & Kaaper:. First off want to say I appreciate your offering a different opinion without the usual noxious tirades unfortunately so very common on Queerty.
I am wishing I was the age you are referring to :-p
I lived through the AIDS Holocaust, the fight for the Gay rights bill in NYC. I was hoping the first major motion picture about a Gay relationship actually had a happy ending. We saw the all to common misery our community endured. Would have been nice for Lee to have portrayed two Gay guys to have had a happy life and to lived Gayily ever after. A two hour respite into a dark theater that showed two Gay guys could actually have a true love story with a happy ending would have been a nice escape….
Hella? Oh dear the 90s called and they want their slang back!
“Moonlight”? “Show me a sex scene…”? Wow. Anyone who doesn’t understand why it was groundbreaking…well, that’s sad. A beautifully done story about being Black and gay and coming from the background of drugs and violence? Not all movies hew to the simplistic understanding of the audience. I observed that ALL my (other) older friends – Black AND White – “got it” perfectly. It does take an understanding of Black culture – and history, too – so don’t be too hard on yourself. Some movies are powerful even without sex scenes. This was one of them.
Brokeback mountain I waited until it came out on DVD to see it .I bought it outright having never seen it but heard the hype .didn’t like it .boring and didn’t buy the characters at all. Call me by your name could of had 45minutes taken out of it. God it was alotf wasted filming…alot Armie Hammer could of been the dad..way too old plus he acted like he really didn’t want to be in the movie ..the movie belonged to Timothee.
Love Simon was just a quirky teen comedy .the kid is cute the movie was missing something…..not sure what
You wrote about Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name – “This dude’s 30-plus and looks it.” He was 29 when it was filmed! And does every movie featuring gay characters have to mention AIDS? Especially in 1983 Italy, where it was not so widespread.
Having worked at a major LBGT film fest for over ten years, I have to laugh at these comments. We would show several hundred films at the fest (both shorts and feature length, and docs), and we had the audience rate them all after they saw them.
The way to boost attendance was to pick a photo out of a film that showed a hot gay man naked or nearly naked above the film description. That alone would guarantee a sell-out crowd. Didn’t matter that the film was boring, and that one photo was totally unrepresentative of the film itself, it still sold. We knew it, weren’t proud of it, but we had to sell tickets to make the fest viable.
Most of the films were generally well received, no matter the film’s quality or story line. When people complained about a plot or whatever, I would just tell them that we filmiest people don’t place orders for films with happy endings, cute guys, and hot sex. We can only accept films from the pool that is submitted to us. Then we try to select the best of those, or speak to one of our niche markets. (Just try to find a film for the Asian-Pacific Islanders!)
The fact that a gay film is made at all is awesome. There are a lot of amazing LBGT film makers out there, and they need support. If you aren’t seeing the types of films you want to see, then you have two choices: Go see the ones you like at an LBGT film fest, or make your own. It’s never been cheaper or easier to make your own film, and I know plenty of people who have.
Maybe that’s the reason some of the movies aren’t speaking to the audience, because it doesn’t sound like you’re taking them seriously.
I miss Roger Ebert.
You lose any credibility you may have had when you use the word icky!
Okay so I get it, every gay film has to encompass every part of gay life but only be about the times that each member of the audience grew up in. How about we just look at films for the way they were intended and when they are taking place. The gay world has changed quickly and dramatically just in my life – so yes some closeted gay men cheated on their wives (some still), not everyone got kicked out of their parents house for coming out, and yes, sometimes a story is about the individuals in them and not just you. Now let’s set out to get more queer films made so we can begin to represent all the facets of the gay world.
In the Birdcage, Armand didn’t “turn straight,” any more than a straight man who might have sex with a man one time, “turns gay.” People are just who they are. It would be like telling a lie once makes you a liar, despite that 99.99% of the time you tell the truth. It’s absurd.
Except that story line is in the majority of lgbt films it seems like. Sorry but gay guys aren’t running around just dying to sleep with a woman to try it out.
It’s a remake of an older French film, so its not surprising that it would utilize a tired old theme.
As a gay man I have the exact same problem with the marketing of “Call Me By Your Name” and “Brokeback Mountain”.
They are not movies about gay men. They are movies about bisexual men.
They are not gay movies. They are bisexual movies.
A summer fling before moving on to being married to a woman, or several summer flings, is not the same story as a story about men choosing to be gay.
Then again, I wouldn’t hold your breath for a movie drama about two men “choosing to be gay”.
I saw Brokeback more as gay men forced to live as str8 men to get by at a time when it wasn’t accepted and in major denial about themsleves. MANY, MANY gay men married women/slept with them/had children but were really gay…
My main problem with Love Simon was the attempt to rehabilitate the black mailer at the end of the movie.
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