Saturday, December 17, 2005

Why I Won’t Be Watching “Brokeback Mountain”

. pew .

The Liberal Glitterati, which is to say Hollywood, is all a-twitter over the Golden Globe nominations for the gay cowboy film “Brokeback Mountain”. And as required in Liberal World bylaws, anyone who is not automatically impressed with a gay film/artwork/business/whatever must ergo be a Neocon fascist. Whatever.

It is true that I have not seen “Brokeback Mountain”, nor do I plan to, but it’s not because the film is about two cowboys who happen to be homosexual. It’s because the film is presented as a gay experience, in essence. It is not so much a story told on-screen, but more a lecture on how we should appreciate gays, an agenda on film, which is to say the director and producer have no idea what the audience wants, or worse, they presume to demand that we abandon entertainment for the purpose of the lesson. I never saw “Showgirls” for the same reason I am giving “Brokeback Mountain” a miss – I want a movie, not an insult to my intelligence. I want a plot, some action, or at the very least a reason to think I will enjoy the film.

Remember Ellen Degeneres? Leave off some of her statements for a minute, and focus on two points, please. The “Ellen” show, her sit-com on television, was funny for a while, enjoyable. Then someone decided it was time for Ellen’s character to “come out” on her show, and suddenly, the show became a critique on the producer’s perception of normative American values. Leaving aside the gross inability of the writers to understand the complexities inherent in a cosmopolitan nation of over three hundred million people, the show stopped being funny. And guess what? When a comedy stops being funny, people stop watching. After “Ellen” became 'Gay Ellen’, it tanked, and naturally the producers blamed conservatives and closed-minded Americans. It never once occurred to them, that we don’t watch sitcoms for social commentary or to be told what to think, we watch sitcoms to laugh. I don’t want to hear a comedian lecture me as if I were uneducated or intolerant, any more than I want that from my deli counter guy when I order a sandwich, or my mechanic when I need to get the brakes fixed. Just do your job, OK?

Well, when I go to the movies, I generally don’t care about politics or the moral outrage of this actor or that director. I want to see romance, comedy, action, whatever I feel is worth my money. I don’t agree much with Ellen Degeneres’ lifestyle choices, but you know what? I liked the job she did in “Finding Nemo”. George Clooney is a raving moron when he tries to lecture people on things he obviously knows nothing about, but I will admit he’s OK in some of his films. I have made an exception for Sean Penn – he’s a great actor, but he’s become so totally demented that I cannot in good conscience spend money which might encourage the man. So no, thank you, I do not feel the need to pay the money I worked for, just to be lectured instead of entertained. The only lectures I feel like paying for, come from academic professionals who really know what they’re talking about, and sorry Mr. McMurtry, you do not meet that standard. I will be happy to pay for a movie which actually offers me an intriguing plot and characters which act more in composition with each other, and who do not seem to be trying to insult the audience. But “Brokeback Mountain” does not meet that standard, and I do not owe you a penny of my money or a moment of my time for something you have not begun to earn.


triticale said...

Brokeback Mountain was originally a short work of fiction published in the New Yorker, which won acclaim for its spare, evocative writing. Thus it wouldn't have made a good movie even if it had been about thieves posing as terrorists to take over a building and loot its vault who were defeated by a rogue cop whose ex-wife was one of the hostages. The agendaists fail to comprehend that people want to be entertained. Giving us a riproaring adventure with a character who happens to be gay will win them more acceptance than all the lectures in the world.

By the way, they weren't cowboys, they were sheepherders, not that it makes any difference.

Ontario Emperor said...

To be fair, I can't read Mallard Fillmore without feeling like I've been beaten over the head with a baby seal club.

DJ Drummond said...

Actually, I can't read Mallard Fillmore either. It always leaves me feeling that I have just wasted time and attention on something less than funny.