Closeted gay movies.
In my new movie, Get Over It, Martin Short plays Dr. Desmond Forrest-Oates, the sexually ambiguous drama teacher determined to make a bona fide high school hit out of his adaptation of a Shakespeare classic, which he calls A Midsummer Night's Rockin' Eve. As the film builds toward the play's premiere, the love of our two leads--Kirsten Dunst and Ben Foster--begins to blossom ... and so does my sense of high camp.
Get Over It is not a gay film, but in an effort to give the teen-comedy genre a face-lift, we've twisted up the cliches a bit. We've got dream sequences and, in the play within the movie, musical numbers written by Scott Witten and Marc Shaiman (the latter was Oscar-nominated for "Blame Canada" from the South Park film). There's a boy-band parody titled "Hermia, Why Won't You Love Me?" and Forrest-Oates's own piece de resistance, a disco anthem called "It's Fun to Be a Fairy." The lyrics are classic: "It's fun to be a fairy / And fly from town to town / Our fairy dust will keep you up, you won't come down / It's fun to be a fairy / And wear such pretty things / It's fun to carry love juice on your fairy wings ..."
You get the idea.
Where do I get my sense of camp? Sure, I could cite timeless movies like A Star Is Born, All About Eve, and basically anything directed by Vincente Minnelli as well as contemporary classics such as Showgirls, Gladiator, and virtually anything directed by Blake Edwards. But just as vital to my ongoing edification are those less obvious movies that pose as straight but play as gay as, well, any fairy could hope for. Let me offer a brief biography of my own unexpectedly gay movie favorites:
 Planet of the Apes (1968): Sure, this sci-fi classic preaches tolerance against a backdrop of dystopian discrimination. This is not my point. More important--to gay men, at least--it stars Roddy McDowall and a very savage Charlton Heston. I think I was probably 5 when I first caught the film on television, but the image of Chuck running through the woods naked has stayed with me forever ...
 Murder by Death (1976): If Apes was the first film to spawn a gay thought in my head, then Murder by Death was the first to crystallize it. I took all my friends to this movie for my 7th birthday party. I was mesmerized by Truman Capote's strange performance; I think my little pals were very much disturbed. But we all laughed at Maggie Smith's classic line: "Where's my Dicky?"
 Carrie (1976): This one's borderline obvious--what with Piper Laurie's pre-Christian-right rantings--but it's such a favorite film, I can't help but include it. When I finally saw it, I was one of hundreds of thousands of closeted gay teenagers wishing for telekinetic powers--not to mention William Katt as my prom date.
 Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985): Never before has the typically gay male dysfunction of perpetual adolescence been captured with so much humor, heart, and extraordinary production design ...
 Bride of Chucky (1998): I have to excuse this film for running over its one gay character with a truck early on in the story--because no other movie has made heterosexuality and its institutions seem more horrific.
 Fight Club (1999): The gayest film of the past decade? Just putting it out there.
 Powerpuff Girls: Down `n' Dirty (2000): Not really a film, I know. But I've been watching this DVD cartoon compilation over and over these days. Besides being a proponent of grrrl power, it's got an aerobicizing drag queen supervillain named Him who is not to be missed.
 Battlefield Earth (2000): Let's put it this way--I'm not sure if Scientologists believe in reincarnation, but if they do, this movie is proof that Bette Davis came back as John Travolta. And with a dreadlock coif to boot.
For more on Tommy O'Haver and his films, go to www.advocate.com
O'Haver's first feature was Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss (1998).
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|Title Annotation:||motion pictures with gay undertones|
|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Mar 27, 2001|
|Previous Article:||Elder of the tribe.|
|Next Article:||I Fell in Love With a Dead Boy EP.|
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