Not Just Another Gay Movie

The heterosexual teen sex comedy is a hallowed genre in American cinema. First came the Annette Funicello beach movies of a half century ago. Any teen savvy enough to delve through the superficial cheesiness of those plots found a rather bawdy collection of half-jokes and innuendo. Then came 1982’s Porky’s, the retrocool classic about a group of friends on the quest to lose their virginity, which provided some more upfront sexcapades. Then, 17 years later, came the pseudoremake American Pie, which was just out and out raunchy. And through all of these movies, all red-blooded American gay boys could do was watch the male stars and make up alternate stories in their heads.
In the couple of decades that gay cinema has been finding and maintaining a real foothold in society, movies for queers have tended to focus on two types: first, depressing meditations on disease, prejudice, loneliness, or death, and second, whimsical fairy tales of romantic soulmates. Seeing a full, romantic kiss between two guys was the high point of any gay film (what is probably the iconic scene of my generation consists of two British boys running through a rainy forest at night while the soundtrack suggests that we make our own kind of music). In the desperate attempt to be accepted in straight society (and get their ticket money) gay movies were totally afraid to talk about real gay sex. If it weren’t for porn, nobody would know how two guys really get it on.
Until now.
Another Gay Movie—playing this month at the Tivoli theatre right before the Gay and Lesbian Film festival—is ironically titled. It is anything but another gay movie. It immediately rejects any traditional notions you may have about gay cinema. It is not centered on disease, death, or even fairy tale love.
It is about, well, fucking.
There’s no other way to set this movie up. If people go see this movie (and they should), they need to know what they’re getting into. It’s a direct take-off of American Pie, recounting the efforts of four hot gay male high-school seniors to have anal sex while being alternately counseled and ridiculed by their big loud dyke friend. The boys each search for, find, and fail several times in hilariously embarrassing ways before the climax (cheap pun intended) of the film.
The movie is quite direct in its depiction of hormonally overbalanced gay teens and their obsessions with sex. It pokes fun at (and graphically depicts) most sexual situations that a teen with incomplete knowledge of the world could fall into. Along the way, it includes many gay culture touchstones, including Mommie Dearest, the naked gay Survivor guy, and the inevitable discussion of whether it’s better to be a top or a bottom.
The universe that the movie exists in is not ours, but it’s an ideally close parallel. It’s a Brady-Bunch-esque world, full of bright colors and a lack of discrimination. Gay bashing has never been heard of. The kids are out, self-assured, and confident in their lives (if not in their beds). Parents are uncomfortably supportive of their gay kids. The real-life consequences of casual sex are blissfully ignored. Disease is not an issue. Big butch lesbians can bed the entire cheerleading team.
This movie goes a couple of steps further than its straight counterpart, probably qualifying as soft-core porn. The actors in the movie spend a lot of time in various stages of nakedness and have an extraordinary lack of self-consciousness, whether they’re bottoming for their math teacher in the front of the classroom, taking too many enemas, or exploring themselves with cardboard tubes and gerbils. And yet with all the outrageousness, there’s a charming and genuinely funny core to the story. Through all the misadventures the boys get into, you really do root for them to get it right.
Speaking of the right, the more conservative religious figures in America, upon discovering this movie, will undoubtedly wet themselves in self-righteous orgiastic fury. They will be decrying this film as the ultimate example of the depravity of gay culture and final proof that gays are leading everyone to hell. Indeed, the film has been raising eyebrows in the gay community too; old-school gays are finding this movie to be… irresponsible, to put it mildly.
Personally, I feel this movie is the exact kick in the ass that our culture and our cinema needs. Gay boys are preoccupied with sex, just like straight ones. The new generation of queers is upon us, and while this movie may not accurately portray their actual reality, it does faithfully capture their attitudes and imaginations—their inner reality.
So what if straight audiences won’t “cross over” and watch this film? It wasn’t made for them anyway. While the sex drive is universal, and there probably will be straights that can appreciate this flick, we all know that there are some things about the gay life that straight people will probably never get. Instead of trying to deny that fact, we should just come out and celebrate it.
Another Gay Movie is a raunchy, cover-your-mouth, oh-my-god-can-they-do-that, overtly sexual fantasy that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. And it’s about damn time.

Libby Post

Libby Post is the founding chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and a political commentator on public radio, on the Web, and in print media.

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