Monday, December 19, 2005

Big Gay Movie Weekend!

Work and the chorus show and general holiday cheer obligations have taken their toll on my movie-attending social budget, but this weekend I suddenly had some Jake time, where I: 1) finished my damn Christmas letter, 2) bought myself a little something-something (a vase and a tealight holder from the handsome Nate Berkus collection at Linens-n-Things) and 3) actually went to two movies. Two VERY gay movies.

Movie #1: I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Rent. I liked it enough, but it somehow never captured my soul the way other musicals have. (And though I loved “Seasons of Love” the first 525,600 times I heard it, the song has grown more than tiresome.) But I’ll watch almost any movie musical and find something to love in it. And I really liked the movie—waaaay more than I liked the stage version. (Maybe because I saw it on stage from the back row of the top balcony, which was so far away that it looked like the whole show was being acted and sung by trained fleas.)

My favorite part of Rent (the movie): The “Tango Maureen” dream sequence. (Who knew Idina Menzel sould dance so sexy?) My second favorite part: the opening scenes with all the burning paper falling to the street. Pretty! And the fact that they cast the guy from Xanadu to play Roger.

My least favorite part: All that fake steam coming out of people’s mouths to show that it was cold outside. I noticed it right away and then couldn’t tear my eyes away from its fakeness every time they digitally added it to a scene. Which is ALL THE TIME. My second least favorite part: Maureen’s protest. Yawn.

Movie #2: Brokeback Mountain is everything I’d hoped for … and everything I knew was coming, thanks to the endless coverage it’s gotten in the press and the blogosphere. I’d read enough about it that I’d kinda figured out what happens at the end, though the way it all happens was still a surprise to me. Still, the movie is beautifully told and intelligently written, with dialogue as achingly sparse and as rich with beauty as its settings.

There’s really nothing I can say about it that hasn’t already been said, but of course I have a few observations:
• A love story between two men should involve less boobie and more manbutt.
• I’d never seen Jake Gyllenhaal in a movie before. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. (He’s cute enough in still photos, but his charms are exponentially more obvious on the silver screen.)
• Anne Hathaway is hot. I’d do her. But just to get to her husband.
• Um … I guess all my observations are sexually motivated. Except this one: I was expecting it to be earth-shattering cinema, with high-octane emotional jolts and audible sobs. So I wasn’t prepared for its subtlety. For its just-like-real-life untidiness. For the way it stuck with me for hours after we left the theater. It’s a powerful story, but it’s told in whispers and mumbles. And that’s the way it should be told. Go see it.

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