Mar 8, 2018

Dennis Quaid

One of the movies I saw in the famous summer of 1978 was Seniors.  It was a terrible teen-sex comedy with one redeeming characteristic: a remarkably buffed, underwear-clad hunk named Dennis Quaid.

During the summer of Meatballs (1979), I saw him again, in the buddy comedy Breaking Away.  In the university town of Bloomington, Indiana, a group of working-class boys contemplate their future while swimming semi-nude in the limestone quarry where their dads work.  The hunky Mike (Dennis Quaid) wants to "light out to the territory" and become a cowboy. Moocher (Jackie Earl Haley) wants to marry his girlfriend. Dave (Dennis Christopher), wants to become Italian and win The Girl.

But you could easily ignore the heterosexist plot and concentrate on the primal beauty of the four friends sunning on the limestone.  In the end it was about friendship.

Strangely, Dennis didn't show off his physique much during the 1980s, but he did a lot of buddy-bonding. In Enemy Mine (1985), a future soldier and his enemy, a Drac named "Jerry" (Louis Gossett Jr.), are stranded,  and develop a touching, homoromantic bond.

They end up having a child together (boy Dracs don't need girl Dracs to get pregnant). When Jerry dies, Davidge raises the child alone, and after they are rescued, returns with him to the Drac planet.

In Far From Heaven (2002), Dennis goes beyond homoerotic subtexts to play a conventionally married businessman in the 1950s who recognizes and explores his gay identity, while simultaneously his wife establishes a interracial romantic friendship.

Dennis  is even more ripped today than in 1978. How many 50-year olds do you know with an 8-pack?

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