January 8, 2008

Mini-review: Brokeback Mountain

(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. Click here for the full list.)

That F--king Gay Cowboy Movie
Brokeback Mountain (movie; 2005)
Written by Larry McMurtry, from the original story by Annie Proulx
Directed by Ang Lee

"Well, I guess it's finally time," I found myself recently saying while emitting a small sigh, over at my neighborhood library the other evening while looking for some DVDs to check out. "Time for me to finally watch that f--king gay cowboy movie." Ah yes, the f--king gay cowboy movie, the one that caused just so much attention when it first came out in 2005, the one based on a story by a highly respected academic writer (Annie Proulx), turned into a screenplay by Pulitzer winner Larry McMurtry, directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee, starring the doubly dreamy Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as stoic mountain men in the '60s who, when no one's around during their ranching duties on the eponymous mountain in question, geeet eeet onnn something fierce (whacka whacka boom, whacka boom boom). And indeed, now that I've seen it myself, I can confirm that this movie contains the hottest (and most violent) gay male sex you will ever see in a mainstream Hollywood production, all the more astounding given that it's two straight males essentially making it all up.

In fact, I believe this to be merely an unspoken part of the otherwise well-known story of how this movie got so big to begin with; because it speaks directly to women in a traditional "chick flick" kind of way, and was in fact marketed and sold to the general public as a traditional chick flick -- not a postmodern Western that guys will be dragging their girlfriends to, but rather a weepy love story that women will be dragging their boyfriends to. And boy, that's certainly the truth when it comes to Brokeback Mountain; that for two ultra-masculine dudes on the edge of the frontier, who never end up in a long-term domestic situation even once in all the decades they know each other, they sure do freaking whine and bicker like an old married couple anytime they're together, as sure a sign of what women usually like in a chick flick as the old Titanic trick of killing off one of the lovers at a young age in a traumatic way. Oh, and did I mention that one of the lovers gets killed off at a young age in a traumatic way? F--king chick flicks!

I kid, I kid, of course I do; but seriously, I found myself just rolling my eyes a lot while watching Brokeback Mountain, ultimately a transparent look at just what a lot of women think must be so great about being a gay man, which in reality has little to do with what actual gay men enjoy about being gay. What it actually is is a straight woman's look at what the relationships would be among the straight males in her life (say, her husband and all of his friends), if they were to add all the emotional elements of a typical male/female romantic relationship (the pouty little fights, the welled-up tears, the ridiculously flowery poetic declarations of intimacy), a project sure to make gay males laugh and straight males deeply uncomfortable, which is why I call this the ultimate chick flick. I'll tell you this, though -- those Ledger and Gyllenhaal fellas sure do know how to realistically simulate some hot male-on-male action. Yow!

Out of 10: 6.2

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:39 AM, January 8, 2008. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |