HE not yet having seen The Whale is entirely on A24 and their reps, who are totally playing “hide the ball” from certain viewers. The idea of seeing it in the city this weekend is an option, of course, but a conversation I had this morning with three friends gave me pause:

Friendo #1: “The Whale is very bad.”
Friendo #2: “It’s a tough sit, but I was sobbing at the very end.”
Friendo #1: “The Whale begins with Brendan Fraser jerking off to gay porn.”
HE: “Is that how the play version began?”
Friendo #1: “I didn’t see the play.”
HE: “Jerking off? Please tell me [Darren] Aronofsky‘s camera shows restraint.”
Friendo #1: “And then somebody walks in on him.”
Friendo #3: “I missed the first minute at my Toronto screening. I got in when he was naked in the shower. I didn’t notice any jerking off. Maybe I missed it.”
Friendo #1: “I don’t remember a shower scene, but the first scene definitely shows him jerking off, bro,”
Friendo #4: “Yes! That’s how it starts!”
HE: “Aaaggghh.”

I have always been an ardent fan of Mr. Aronofsky’s, but saying that I am genuinely fearful of seeing The Whale is putting it mildly.