Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

08 October 2006

Gay Movies

Superman Returns is loooong and very silly. Brandon Routh is very cute as Superman and I quite liked Parker Posey as Lex Luthor's moll. Ditto James Marsden as Lois Lane's fiancée and Kal Penn as Lex's henchman. And of course I loved Frank Langella as Perry White. But that small child who plays Lois Lane (I always forget her name and I never like her in anything) is so horribly miscast I can't even talk about it. James Marsden is—what—almost thirty-five? and she looks like she just turned sixteen and is playing dress-up as Lois Lane. It's positively ludicrous that she could have a five-year-old child.
And Kevin Spacey! He is as campy in Superman Returns as I've ever seen him in anything (including K-Pax and Pay It Forward). He dances around and changes clothes in the middle of the day like he's hosting the American Music Awards. There is this one scene where Lex stabs Superman from behind that looks like something out of a Bruce La Bruce movie. So gay.
This film is also hampered by an almost total lack of plot. I swear to you the plot doesn't start until at least an hour into the movie. There is an interesting father-son narrative in Superman Returns but I was so bored by Act Three I didn't care if Superman lived or died. Did anyone think he might actually die? I mean where was the conflict? The effects are cool most of the time, but the dialogue is terrible and just like Bryan Singer's Spider-man 2, characters spend eons gazing at one another from afar bemoaning the fact that they can't be together when there is absolutely no reason they can't be together. As a matter of fact, Superman Returns is nearly a complete retread of Spider-man 2.
A word or two about the poster before I abandon this film: could it be any more of a ripoff of last years Batman Begins? I don't think it could. With a plot taken from a movie nearly thirty years old, a performance (Marlon Brando's) hijacked from the original film (1978), a mood set by Spider-man and a poster stolen from Batman, this Superman doesn't have much that it can call its own at all: except maybe the money it made.

Summer Storm (Sommersturm) is a gay coming-of-age story. It's a retread of nearly every other gay coming-of-age story I've ever seen, but it's cute and palatable and at times very well shot. The music is excellent and the conceit (contact with an all-gay Berlin rowing team called the Queerstrokes causes a closeted rowing captain from somewhere in Bavaria to come out) is sweet. Not much to say about the movie. I quite liked it but it's mostly fluff.

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