Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Chick Flick for Dudes 

I've been running across a lot of anecdotal backlash evidence against Brokeback Mountain online lately -- mostly of the "I'm a liberal straight guy, but I don't like chick flicks" sort. And I can respect that. And it's kind of funny, actually. Guys over 30 are not seeing the moving because, well, you know -- it's got teh ghey in it. But guys under 30 seem to not be seeing it because it isn't an action flick.

Note to both groups: it's got more boobies in it than the latest acton flick. Sure, content yourself with latex-bound nipples and guns, or come to marvel at Anne Hathaway's and Michelle Williams's hooters in all their glory. And, incidentally, there are more straight sex scenes in the movie than gay ones. The only actual moment of gay sex in Brokeback Mountain happens with both partners fully clothed. Hell, they might as well just be wrestling. And there are only three moments of male nudity: Heath Ledger, in an out of focus background shot, Jake Gyllenhaal doing his laundry (wearing his hat and boots at least), and Jake and Heath doing a high-dive off a cliff. If you've ever been on spring break in Cabo, you've probably seen your best friends at least five times as naked and doing the same thing. If not worse.

As for it being a "chick flick", well, yes and no. Sure, it's an unrequited romance story and, aside from the gender of the partners involved, is no different than such sagas stretching all the way back through past centuries, including such predecessors as Madame Butterfly and Romeo and Juliet. The difference here, I think, is that, except for that schtupping thing, the relationship between Jake and Heath's characters isn't all that different than between most 20-something male roommates I know. Face it, guys -- if you've picked the right friend to live with, you've got an attraction to him, and I don't mean sexual. Emotional feelings for someone of the same gender aren't the same as a raving sexual attraction. It's called friendship, and, in some ways, Brokeback Mountain is really the story of two otherwise straight friends who could have been best buddies for life, except for a moment of indescretion that happened once long ago on a mountaintop in Wyoming.

If you got all verklempt in Die Hard when Bruce Willis's character finally reunited with his wife, then you'll find events not all that different in Brokeback Mountain.

Finally, there's the pussy factor, to put it bluntly. If you've got a female SO or wife, take her to this movie. Trust me, you'll be having wild monkey sex five minutes after you get home, and she'll probably even finally do "that" thing for you. Why? Because, a) sitting through this movie will prove to her that you're a real man who has no doubts about his sexuality; b) going to this movie will inspire you to cling onto her from parking lot to closing credits; you'll be holding her hand or have your arm around her shoulder the entire time so that the rest of the audience knows you're not "that" way, and she'll interpret it as you really care. If you really want to earn the bonus points, fake the sniffles from the point that Heath Ledger's character visits Jack Twist's parents, and cling tighter to the SO.

And, finally, a lot of the above is tongue-in-cheek. Because, honestly, I can fully relate to why straight men wouldn't want to see this movie. It's got nothing to do with teh ghey, and everything to do with the movie being a sappy romance. Hey, I'll bet that you didn't run right out to see Sleepless in Seattle or any other mushy film like that. But, if you did or do, then you already know about the benefits described in the previous paragraph.

But, hey -- Brokeback Mountain has sheep and beautiful scenery and fistfights and country music. And it turns the John Wayne personna on its head. Or on its ass, take your pick.

Wonder what the Duke would have thought about that?

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