Mar 26, 2017

10 Gay Movies I Hated

I haven't seen a lot of gay-themed movies since 2005, when I moved to small-town American: they rarely make it out to the multiplex next to the Wal-Mart.  But before that, living in West Hollywood, New York, and Fort Lauderdale, I saw practically everything.  Some were good, but a surprising number were awful: angst-loaded melodramas set in worlds where there is no gay community, every heterosexual is homophobic, lesbians turn straight, and gay men keep falling in love with women.

Here is the list of the biggest offenders, excluding historical artifacts like Cruising and The Boys in the Band, and movies where the gay guy dies (which I never see in the first place).

It's Still the 1950s
1. Get Real (1998). The only gay guy in the world (Ben Silverstone), who plasters his room with pictures of hunky footballers but still worries that his parents will "find out,"  falls for a local jock, who won't acknowledge his presence in public, continues to date girls, and beats him up to prove he is heterosexual.  But there are no other options.

2. Sordid Lives (1999).  In "modern" Texas, a drag queen named Brother Boy (Leslie Jordan) is in a mental hospital, undergoing de-homosexual therapy.  Meanwhile, a gay man (Kirk Geiger) moves from Texas to Los Angeles, where he undergoes 300 years of therapy to accept "who he is," but is still terrified that his theater-crowd friends will "find out."  Are you kidding me?  (Southern Baptist Sissies is in the same vein).

3. Cruel Intentions (1999).  Teenage brother and sister have fun destroying people's lives.  Fruity queen (Joshua Jackson, not even the most homophobic of the Jacksons) helps them blackmail his sex partner, a closeted footballer, who tries to turn hetero by throwing out his Judy Garland cds.  Excuse me?  Who researched this movie?

Gay Men Really Want Women
4. The Object of My Affection (1998).  Straight woman (Jennifer Anniston) and gay man (Paul Rudd) fall in love and begin a relationship.  Um. . .what exactly did they think the word "gay" meant?

5. The Opposite of Sex (1998). Teenage girl (Christina Ricci) shows up at her gay brother's house and seduces his lover (Ivan Sergei), who never once states that he's bisexual.  He just likes women, like all gay men.

6. Party Monster (2003).  Party boy (Macaulay Culkin) says he's gay, but he falls in love with a girl, who almost convinces him to abandon his "destructive lifestyle."  But it doesn't work, and he becomes a murderer.

Gay Men are Really Women

7. The Birdcage (1996).  It may have been ok with La Cage aux Folles in 1978, but in 1996, the sight of one effeminate stereotype (Robin Williams) teaching another (Nathan Lane) how to butter his toast "like  a man" was infuriating.

8. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001). East German boy (John Cameron Mitchell) falls in love with an American GI, and decides to become a woman for him.  Operation is botched, creating a transwoman with an "angry inch," who becomes a punk rocker and falls in love with a homophobic Bible-belt boy.  Same-sex desire doesn't exist; it's all male-female, regardless of the body you inhabit.

Lesbians Switch Teams a Lot
9. Chasing Amy (1997). Hetero man (Ben Affleck) falls in love with a lesbian and begins the task of converting her to heterosexuality.  Isn't that a debunked myth -- lesbians will "turn back" if they meet the right man?  It works, albeit temporarily.

10. Kissing Jessica Stein (2001).  Jessica meets a lesbian. She's astounded, utterly unaware that such things exist.  In Manhattan.  In 2001.  To be fair, she lives in a gay-free Manhattan, where people constantly make heterosexist statements ("Oh, you got flowers!  Who's the guy?").  They begin a relationship, but then Jessica switches back to heterosexual again.

Gay as Arrested Development

11. Chuck and Buck (2000).  The worst gay-themed movie since Cruising.  I'll save it for another post.

See also: 10 Gay Movies I Loved; 12 Songs I Hate; and The 39 Dumbest Things on TV


  1. I also hated Brokeback Mountain: Poorly staged and lit sex scenes, no real sensitivity to what closeted Gay/bi men are really like, not to mention atrocious over-acting. Miscast, too: I'm the only one I know who didn't see any chemistry between Health Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal but I haven't changed my mind about that.

  2. I agree with all of those 10 except I did not remember Get Real as being that bad. I'll take your word for it.
    As for DC Hampton Jacobs, what infuriated me the most about Brokeback Mountain was everyone saying it was the first this, that and the other thing.
    It wasn't a first for anything, let alone everything. Journalists and LGBTQ leaders need to do their homework better.

    1. The problem with "Get Real" was the full-page ads in gay magazines, to draw in a gay audience to basically be told that they were stunted adolescents who needed to grow up in to adult heterosexuality.

  3. "Brokeback Moutain" because is became a mainstream hit- it not just another gay movie- it was robbed of it's Best Picture Oscar.

  4. "Chasing Amy" almost goes bi- when Ben suggest that the only way to solve their dilemma is for Amy, his best bro and Ben to have three way

  5. 'The Object of my Affection': I advise you to keep watching the next time, it is in fact a 'good' film! Yes, it is about a Confused Woman (CW) - but one could also think disturbed or derailed in stead of confused. She hears her biological clock ticking, but can not hold on to any guy long enough to get pregnant from him. The CW comes up with a plan: becoming pregnant with the help of a sperm bank and raising the child with her gay flatmate. He is initially charmed by the idea. But then the CW thinks she can create a real man - woman - child family, if she puts enough effort in seducing him. Eventually he has enough of that, they have a fight, he moves out and falls in love with a handsome man his own age. The boyfriend lives with a much older man - more 'granddaddy' than 'daddy'. The 'granddaddy' is played by British actor Nigel Hawthorne, who has always been out and proud. At the end of the film the CW becomes less confused, and everything turns out fine (in a good way!).

    1. Still seems rather problematic, with a "real family" consisting of a man and a woman, and the possibility of "changing" gay to straight. But I guess it was ok for the 1990s.

    2. Perhaps going for 'Confused' was too polite. The attempts to seduce the gay flatmate are meant to demonstrate how crazy the woman has become...

    3. Nigel was not "out and proud" he was outed and was livid at that happening. He did finally come out publicly but died a few years after.

  6. To the naysayers, Brokeback Mountain was and still is a milestone for well made mainstream gay movies! Explicit sex scenes does not make a movie good, the directing and acting does! See a porno if that's one's idea of a "well made gay movie"!


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