Jul 15, 2013

Next Friday: Homophobes Create an Interracial Gay Romance

So I'm channel surfing, when I see a white slacker, carrying an enormous dog, an enormous grin on his face, about to leave a house.  Inside, a black slacker coyly says "Call me!"  He replies "You know it!"

Did I just see a gay romance in bloom?

I quickly check the TV Guide for the movie -- Next Friday (2000), and get a copy from Netflix.  It stars Ice Cube as Craig Jones, who is fleeing from a gangster and hides out with his uncle in the suburbs. The slackers are Cousin Day-Day (Mike Epps) and his friend Roach (Justin Pierce), who work in Pinky's Record Store.  Day-Day is being harassed by an ex-girlfriend, but otherwise the two display no heterosexual interest.  They don't even discuss girls at work.

But they can't keep their hands off each other.

The dog belongs to the neighborhood drug dealers, but Roach makes friends with it by feeding it bologna.

The drug dealers kidnap them -- Day-Day puts his arm around a freaking-out Roach to comfort him -- and tie them together, planning to shoot them later. But Craig and his friends come to the rescue.

Later, when the various crises are resolved, we get the "Call me!" scene.

It seems odd to find such a remarkable gay romance, with physicality, emotional connection, and the promise of permanence, in the heart of a stoner comedy written by Ice Cube, who was quite homophobic at the time (he's softened his antigay position since), and starring Mike Epps, known for his homophobic outbursts in airports.  Justin Pierce, who committed suicide in 2000, starred in the homophobic Kids.

Maybe we can attribute the gay subtext to director Steve Carr?

Or maybe it was purely unconscious.

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