Jun 28, 2012

Lathe of Heaven

The science fiction thriller Lathe of Heaven (2002), about a man whose dreams change reality, was adapted from a novel by Ursula K. Leguin, where the protagonist was gay-vague. It stars Lukas Haas, who played a gay hustler in Johns (1996). So naturally one expects the protagonist or another major character to be gay, or for someone to at least demonstrate an awareness that gay people exist. However, early on, as George is telling his psychiatrist, Dr. Haber (James Caan), about the reality shifts that occur every time he goes to sleep, he mentions losing “someone special.” Dr. Haber instantly refers to the “someone special” as “her.”

“How did you know I was talking about a her?” George asks.

“You’re a he,” Dr. Haber responds. Men do not desire men or fall in love with men, or form emotional bonds of any sort with men. All of their emotional energy is reserved for women. You are a he, so your only possible “someone special” is a she.

George accepts this bit of Exclusion without comment, and sure enough, he goes on to find a woman whose love is so strong that it can transcend shifts in reality itself.