A friend just sent me a love-story script that he describes as “Brokeback Mountain meets Jarhead.” Gay love stories have only had a foothold since the beginning of the century, or maybe a little later. They were a relative rarity when Brokeback came out 13 years ago. Nowadays they’re all we’re seeing, it seems, in a romantic context. Certainly in my realm.
Not that many haven’t been good or generally made the movie universe a more intriguing or open-hearted place, but we’re basically living through an era in which the romantic and sexual lives of 96% of the population — am I allowed to say this? — are being elbowed aside. Partly because the 4% side of things feels fresher, more interesting, different and more politically correct, and partly because screenwriters these days seem to believe that the straight side of the aisle is fairly boring. Right now, in terms of green-lightable love stories, the 4% equation is pretty much everything. And yet the 96% must be experiencing some intense or certainly unusual times these days, no? Some of them good enough to turn into a film?
You know what would be really shocking right now? A movie like The Way We Were. I know how sappy that sounds, but never forget that Sydney Pollack‘s film has, at the very least, a great ending. A film like that could never happen now, of course, in part because we’re living in a realm in which 96% of the population is being commonly referred to by the politically attuned (and for the first time in the history of civilization, and somewhat derogatorily) as cisgender. 2018 to the ghost of James Stewart: “Did you know that during your time on earth you were a cisgender person?” Stewart to 2018: “I didn’t know that.”
I’m probably going to get killed for saying this.