Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm confused

I just watched "I Love You, Phillip Morris" and cannot understand why this movie did not get a decent release in the US...aside from flat out homophobia on the part of distribution companies and theaters.  It's a well-done film about a man so busy lying to everyone, when he finds his one true love he can't stop lying because that's all he knows...and damn near destroys that love.  Jim Carrey was good in it but you never forget he's Jim Carrey...and to be honest, you never forget that he's a straight man playing a gay one whereas Rodrigo Santoro, who played Jimmy, is straight but he's very gay in the movie.  Same for Ewan McGregor, who could play a bunny-killing serial murderer and make you both believe him and care about him.  He definitely deserves an Oscar, at some point.

But that aside, the story was fun and honest, funny and sad, a bit too slick for its own good, sometimes, yet still true to its characters.  So why was it only released on 6 screens in America?  And then only after being kicked around like a second-rate piece of filth for years?  The only answer I can think of is, they didn't think American audiences would accept it...and there's some truth in that.  Just reading the comments on the movie's IMDb page shows straight guys were uncomfortable with the movie.  But the 14-24 year olds are becoming a minimal part of the audience for films; they're busier with video games.  And there are 15-30 million gay people in this country, depending on whose estimates you use, yet they barely get served by films outside of gay porn and indies that are all about pretty boiz having easily solved problems.  "Brokeback Mountain" is proving more and more to be an aberration.

Of course, members of the gay community were also up in arms about it because they felt it showed gay men in a bad light, and considering how long a history there is of making queers victims or villains of sexless sidekicks (Ruppert Everett in "My Best Friend's Wedding", for example, though he damn near snuck around that nonsense just by the force of his screen presence), I can see their point.  But as a writer, I bristle at anything that minimizes the true human experience.  And Steven Russell WAS a gay con man who ruined people's lives but still was lovable enough to have them care about him.  In that, the movie did a fine job.

What's interesting is, ILYPM made 1.5 times its budget in the overseas markets, including Russia.  So it could have done well if Hollywood had wanted it to.  They just didn't really try.  And that's sad.

Worked through a couple more chapters of LD.  Nothing much else to say.

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