21 September 2008

Forgive Them, Father, for They Are Gay

Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild – dir. Todd Stephens – 2008 – USA

Why is it that when gay cinema rears its ugly head, it’s always so much more blinding to the eye than heterosexual cinema? I could probably cite a number of “straight” films more inept than Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild, but it seems that when gay films fail, they’re more likely to be seeped in venom and puss. Another Gay Sequel is as bitchy as you’d imagine it to be, so bitchy in fact that writer/producer/director Todd Stephens eclipses his finer attempts at satire with a sassy huff that’s more akin to a gum-chewing Valley bimbo (do those still exist?) than the sting it so wishes to create. For starters, only one of the original quartet of homos returned for the second outing, allowing for the character’s mother to make a jab about how “some actors’ agents think that doing two gay movies in a row might make people actually think that they’re gay.” This would be all fine-and-dandy if it didn’t seem so cross, or if it weren’t followed with the nelly fag Nico (Jonah Blechman) remarking, “they’re much cuter than I remember.” And, shockingly, even more hollow of caricatures than I remember. The jock, the hot nerd, the all-American college boy and the queen are all there, at least in sketches.

What makes Another Gay Sequel even more appalling than its last outing is not its weird sexual agenda in which only attractive, hairless young boys are allowed to have sex and out-of-the-ordinary sexuality is treated as bottom-of-the-barrel comedy; it’s the rampant racism and sexism that makes Another Gay Sequel so irredeemable. If one is to accept the terms of this gay fantasia in which gay is attributed as the inverse of heterosexuality and the roles are reversed to the point where heterosexuality is nonexistent, it’s still a tough pill to swallow when you look at the whitewashing of the whole endeavor. One line, which would have worked in a sharper movie, has RuPaul, the emcee of the Gays Gone Wild Competition, defending one of the prizes, a trip to some rundown city in New Jersey, as having wonderful potential “if the gays can finally get rid of the blacks.” But wait! RuPaul is the only black person in the whole movie. And if we’re staying on the equal opportunity wagon, how come only two characters, Nico’s mom and the high school bull dyke, are actually played by women, and how come they only make an appearance in the opening scene?

For a film that relies so heavily on a strange history of iconic female figures in cinema, it’s terribly condescending to wipe your film clean of any… vagina. I’m sure if the female anatomy were ever mentioned in the film, it’d make the quartet squeal. With references as broad as Heathers, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, 10, Splash and Mommie Dearest, the film bites the hand that feeds it, in the same vain of the original which finds much of its humor looking down on 90s gay cinema. Replacing the room for females or blacks instead are the likes of gay porn stars, reality TV personalities and the despicable Perez Hilton, who’s about as funny as a dirty sock. Either Another Gay Sequel is one of the nastiest (in all the ways it doesn’t try to be) films I’ve ever seen, or it’s the most scarily accurate depiction of the racist, sexist, ageist state of young gay America. Either way, there’s no cause for celebration here.

2 comments:

N said...

Bra-fucking-vo.

Joe said...

Ha, thanks a lot. I didn't expect that the sequel could actually be worse than the original, but boy, I sure underestimate the world of shitty gay cinema.