Nov 28, 2023

"Vacation": Skyler Gisondo as the victim in a horribly homophobic scene. And apparently it gets worse.


I didn't see the original National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), due to the vocal homophobia of star Chevy Chase.   I'm definitely not going to watch the sequel, Vacation (2015), in which  Rusty, the kid in the original (Ed Helms), tries to take his family on the same woebegotten journey.  Richard Roeper called it "a vile, odious disaster populated with unlikable, dopey characters bumbling through mean-spirited set pieces that rely heavily on slapstick fight scenes, scatological sight gags and serial vomiting."  Plus the plot synopsis looks horribly heterosexist, with eldest son James (Skyler Gisondo) in search of the Girl of His Dreams.  But I am going to check for beefcake, and then review a horribly homophobic scene that I found by accident on youtube.

Link to NSFW version 

 James shows his chest (top photo). Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth), married to Rusty's sister, walks around in his underwear, displaying a bulge.  Plus he "accidentally" displays his penis in a vacation photo.

On to the cringy homophobic scene: 

 The family is staying at a sleazy motel.  James plays his guitar at the sleazy hot tub.  A girl drops by to flirt with him.  

Medina: I have a penis.

James (shocked, transphobic): What?  Um...

Medina: It's written  on your guitar.  

He explains that his brother wrote it there as a prank, and goes on to make his move, Just then, Dad shows up (but Medina thinks that it's just a random perv)

Dad/Perv: I'm just a stranger passing through town, but I couldn't help noticing how incredibly handsome this young man is. You got a girlfriend?  Or boyfriend, heterosexist idiot  -- but then, Dad probably knows that his son is straight.

James: (Painfully embarrassed.) No.

: No girlfriend?  Cute boy like that, somebody's gonna snatch you up.

Medina (to James): Do you want me to call the cops?  

James: No.  Dad/Perv hasn't done anything illegal yet.  But...why doesn't James tell the girl that it's his Dad, being embarrassing?

Dad/Perv: And he plays guitar. Dream boy!  Make a muscle!

Skyler: I'd rather not.

Dad/Perv: Take your shirt off, make a muscle.  Don't be shy -- show us what we're working with.  

As Dad/Perv approaches the hot tub, Medina asks James if he'll be ok, and scrams.  

Dad: Dang it!

James: Dad, why would you do that?

Dad: I saw you talking to her, and figured you could use a wing man. Oy!

In most U.S. states, it is a crime to propose sexual activity to someone under the age of consent, or expose them to erotic material.  Commenting on their erotic desirability is technically legal, unless you are their parent, teacher, or in a position of authority.  Skyler Gisondo here is 18 or 19, but his character is 14.  Dad is pushing the boundaries of legality, and has gone far beyond what is appropriate. 

Left: 17-year old bodybuilder. Attractive, but not hot until next year.
This exchange keys into the myth that gay men are all hanging around schoolyards, trying to pick up teenagers (ephebophilia)  -- or 12 year olds (pedophilia)  

Another review says: "All homophobic, xenophobic, scatological grossout, with some rape and pedophilia “jokes” for flavor."  You mean it gets worse?

To make up for subjecting you to this mess, I posted some naked grown-ups on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends

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