Gregory invites seven friends to spend the summer at his large, secluded 19th-century home in upstate New York. The seven are: Bobby, Gregory's "significant other," who is blind but who ...
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Gregory invites seven friends to spend the summer at his large, secluded 19th-century home in upstate New York. The seven are: Bobby, Gregory's "significant other," who is blind but who loves to explore the home's garden using his sense of touch; Art and Perry, two "yuppies" who drive a Volvo and who celebrate their 14th anniversary together that summer; John, a dour expatriate Briton who loathes his twin brother James; Ramon, John's "companion," who is physically attracted to Bobby and immediately tries to seduce the blind man; James, a cheerful soul who is in the advanced stages of AIDS; and Buzz, a fan of traditional Broadway musicals who is dealing with his own HIV-positive status. Written by
Dennis Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Just once I'd like to see a "West Side Story" where everybody gets it; the Jets and the Sharks, and Officer Krupke; or a "Sound of Music" where the entire Von Trapp family dies in a horrible alpine avalanche; or "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" where nothing happens, and it's not funny.
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This is perhaps the most inappropriately named movie ever! There is no "Love", there is no "Valor", and there is no "Compasion". Let's try this instead: "Self Centered!, Shallow!, Headonistic!" I saw this film when it "came out" in 1997 and as the credits rolled in the theater I wanted to crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after me. Last night I caught parts of it again on cable and immediately started having PTSD symptoms. What a giant pant load. As a gay male, and ballet dancer myself, I cringe to think that people out there might see this vapid movie and think that my life in any way resembles it or any of it's pathetic inhabitants. Sorry to take this personally...
This is not a movie about people, gay or otherwise, and their struggles or triumphs. It's about gay cartoon characters. And not very nice ones. Every distasteful stereotype is there. And most of the characters are several all at once. What do they have in common? They are all shallow, self centered, bitchy, immature, and totally lacking in impulse control, which explains the last thing they all have in common, they are all dying of AIDS.
And so we have one of two problems here. Either gays are now making movies that perpetuate commonly held negative stereotypes about themselves, in which we have a movie and gay problem. Or, these aren't stereotypes and we gays are really like the way this movie portrays us, in which we have only a gay problem. Either way this movie is just one big problem from start to finish because it's loaded with bad movie making and bad gay characters.
When "The Boys in the Band" opened in the 1960's the gay community, of which Terrence McNally had to have been a part of at the time, was outraged at it's negative portrayal of gay men as stereotypically sad, self loathing, and bitchy. Whatever Mr. McNally's perspective was back then he clearly thinks that stereotypically sad, self loathing, and bitchy was the way to go thirty years later in 1997, and that AIDS would somehow ameliorate the subjects' distastefulness. Not even close.
More importantly, all the personal and sociological offenses aside, this is just a really bad, unenjoyable, movie. The house and landscape are beautiful but there is no one to like or care for anywhere to be found. Like too many "gay films" it trades on shallowness, bitchiness, nudity,and the promise of easy sex. Those can be elements of a film, but they can't BE the film.
Follow this if you will. One of the many "subplotlines" threaded throughout this movie: the cute blind guy screws around on his partner, in their own home, with one of their guests, then gets a phone call that his sister had died and launches into an overacted banshee like scream that makes you think he might also be mentally disabled. Then while his lover is comforting him due to the loss of his sister, the cute blind guy thinks it's the perfect time to "be honest" and tell his lover that he has been schtupping the house guest. And this is fairly routine for this script and this group of characters. And this is not treated like a plot development. It's just one of many random moments, clichés, and stereotypes thrown into this shepherds pie of undeveloped stories and characters. Uhgg...
And as for the brain trust behind all this, if this is what passes for talented playwriting and movie making by the gay establishment, God help us all.
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