Some movies focus so much on machismo that they inadvertently end up dripping with homoerotic tension. There are tons of movies that are just one make-out scene away from being a bromantic love story. It's ironic when mainstream movies aimed at gay audiences have leads with no romantic connection, when some movies about straight characters have sexual tension simply oozing off the screen. These "gay straight movies" provide an outlet for gay men looking for characters that resonate with them, a subtext of romantic relationships, and pure, unadulterated man candy.
Writer/director Michael Serrato created this viral video hit, “Rambo, But Gay” which is a musical retelling of the popular Sylvester Stallone classic Rambo. It’s an interesting take on the thin line between the overtly masculine and homoerotic. After all, Rambo spends most of the 1980s films half-naked and oiled up, so they are ripe for parody.
Here are my nominations for the 10 gayest straight movies of all time.
10. Fight Club
Edward Norton deals with his ennui by staring at a super cut-up Brad Pitt and forming a club where men fight shirtless in underground rooms. Helena Bonham Carter gives a great performance of a woman as a drag queen. Last but not least, a bleach-blond cherubic Jared Leto follows around Pitt and Norton.
9. The Covenant
Why not remake The Craft with boys in Speedos? A pre-Friday Night Lights Taylor Kitsch stars in a movie about the descendants of The Salem Witch Trials that happen to all be men. There’s a ton of time spent in the locker room and arguing about power.
Abs, briefs and awesome gold facial piercings pervade this cinematic comic book. From the looks of it, the war between Sparta and the Persian Empire would have ended if both kings just made out.
7. School Ties
Brendan Fraser gets into an exclusive prep school but he has a secret that he can’t let anyone know. It’s because he’s Jewish, but it does mirror what coming out would be like. It’s chock full of 1990s heartthrobs including Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Cole Hauser. And thank you, filmmakers, for the gratuitous nude fight scene between Fraser and Damon.
6. Dude, Where’s My Car?
Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott have tons of bromantic chemistry. They spend the entire movie being chased by Nordic men in leather. The film also includes gratuitous Speedo and shirtless shots, Queer as Folk star Hal Sparks and an intense make-out scene.
5. Magic Mike
Channing Tatum attempts to make this a heartfelt biopic. Instead, it feels more like a campy romp. Matthew McConaughey spends most of the time shirtless and in short shorts, Cody Horn is the female lead with a boyish body and everyone wears a man-thong. Let's also not ignore the gratuitous use of The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men."
5. Staying Alive
A waxed and oiled up John Travolta channels Pat Benatar in this sequel to Saturday Night Fever. He looks like a member of The Village People in his costume and ends the movie with one of the more boyish of his love interests, Jamie Lee Curtis. (Note: we have never believed that rumor about the lovely Ms. Curtis.)
4. The Outsiders
Based on S.E. Hinton’s book about rival gangs, this movie features all the heartthrobs of its time. Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, and Matt Dillon all star in the film. C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio play best friends with a little too many sensitive and longing looks.
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The palpable chemistry between Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin), plus elves with hair extensions. What more is there to say?
Cruise as a money-hungry gigolo making cocktails. 'Nuff said.
1. Top Gun
This movie invented the genre. Tons of close talking about "riding your tail," a very butch Kelly McGillis, and three simple words - shirtless volleyball game.
Are there any you think should have made the list?
When a highly-anticipated and heavily advertised movie hits the theaters and bombs, it's got to create a truly unusual feeling for all involved. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall for the reactions of Benedict Cumberbatch upon his learning that The Fifth Estate averaged $969 per theater over the opening weekend.
"Wow. That's marvelous. $969 thousand per theater? Excellent start!""... No, Benedict. That's dollars. Just dollars. $969. Nine-hundred sixty-nine." "I need to go for a walk. A very long walk."
Seeing that made me think of five other recent and historically bad openings:
Machete Kills (2013)
This was not a good year for openings. It's a bit of a surprise, since it's packed to the gills with stars and people seemed to love the first one. It pulled in $3.8 milllon, which was spread out over 2,500 theaters. This equals -- and please bear in mind, I was never good at math -- not a lot. I just hope Danny Trejo's Machete doesn't track down the people who didn't see this movie.
The subject matter was awesome: Steve Jobs! But people just couldn't get past the fact that it was Ashton Kutcher in the role. The other problem was that the movie only focused on a narrow slice of his life, and there was so much to his whole story. It opened to $6.8 million. That may have been lower than the amount Kutcher makes per episode on Two And A Half Men. Dude, you got Punk'd at the theater!
It's Pat (1994)
This movie, based around a person of ambigious sexuality played by Julia Sweeney on a series of Saturday Night Live skits, had a very limited theater run, and it's a good thing: It got terrible reviews and supposedly earned only around $60,000 TOTAL. It was unambiguously yanked out of the theaters very quickly.
Major League: Back To the Minors (1998)
Audience members sent this film back to the bush leagues, paying only a little over $2 million in its opening weekend. Of course, with no Charlie Sheen and Scott Bakula taking over the lead role, the lack of interest is understandable. Bakula probably said in his best Quantum Leap voice, "Ohhhh boy..." when he saw the numbers.
The Oogieloves in Big Balloon Adventures (2012)
This was supposed to be from a popular kids' series, but a movie that looked like the Teletubbies on acid only raked in $443,000 in its opening weekend. I'm sure that cast members like Cary Elwes and Christopher Lloyd called Cumberbatch to tell them that it could have been a LOT worse.
Actor Corey Feldman and two female companions were left stunned this week (25Sep13) when police swarmed his Los Angeles home in response to an apparent prank call. The Goonies star rushed out of his front door with his arms raised when cops and a helicopter arrived at his house to investigate a 911 call reporting an emergency.
In video footage of the scare, obtained by TMZ.com, Feldman can be seen wearing a bath robe while being frisked by officers, while two women in lingerie and dressing gowns were also given pat-downs on the street in the middle of the night.
The authorities left Feldman's property after determining the call was a hoax.
Feldman is the latest celebrity to fall victim to 'swatting' in recent months - previous targets include Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood and Ashton Kutcher.
For everything 30 Rock does so very right (Liz Lemon's endlessly re-quotable quips) there is something they haven't quite nailed down in their six magnificently off-the-wall seasons on the air: Season finales. Much like the disappointing "Kidney Now!" Season 3 finale, last night's Season 6 ender "What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?” wasn't everything the show is capable of (especially after having such a stellar season) but that's not to say it's not a total relief they'll back for 13 more episodes for a final Season 7.
Especially now that it seems like Liz's perfect match Criss (sorry, Wesley Snipes) is in it for the long haul. Not only did James Marsden's dreamy character, what with his beautiful lady face and his James Van Der Beek appreciation that doesn't include Dawson's Creek, sell his hot dog van to have extra money for their plant –– er, baby –– but he finally got Liz to stop worrying and not bail on something great. Criss calls Liz out on her s**t, supports her endlessly, and laughs at her stupid jokes. Isn't that what we all want from someone at the end of the day?
Of course, not all seemingly perfect couples have happy endings. Avery's return from North Korea was supposed to be a joyous thing for Jack, but their rampant jealousy and mistrust (Jack kissed her mother, Avery had a secret code affair with co-host-age Scott Scottsman) turned their planned vow renewal into a surprise divorce ceremony. While Kim Jung Il, I mean, uh, just a regular waiter who is definitely not Kim Jung Il, pleaded for 30 Rock writers to pull a Friends or Moonlighting and get Jack and Liz together, I hope this show never breaks with its unconventional convention. Besides, Criss is the right guy for Liz and Julianne Moore's Bahston babe Nancy is meant to balance out Jack.
If the idea of Jack and Liz making a go of it makes you shudder, too, than I can imagine you had an equally averse reaction to watching Kenneth and a homeless Hazel (Kristen Schaal) shack up as roommates and engage in the most uncomfortable televised kiss since this. Thankfully, that wasn't the only side plot during last night's hit-or-miss finale, there was also the gloriously funny story line about Tracy being named Man of the Year by the Aryan Patriot Party thanks to his behavior. Despite the best efforts of Grizz, Dot Com, and Dr. Cornel West (as himself, but mistaken for Questlove by Tracy) to give Tracy a positive black role model, after an epiphany (okay, seeing his reflection in Rosa Parks' dress at a museum) he opts to go the Tyler Perry route instead. I don't wanna wait for 30 Rock's life to be over. I'm in denial that it ever will.
Here are the other best lines and moments from last night's 30 Rock Season 6 finale:
- Pat Kiernan cameo!
- "Brother" Jason Segel
- Liz's refusal to say the phrase "man cave"
- Liz's montage with her plant baby (Planty!) set to a Randy Newman-like tune about plants
- "Skinny arm havers!"- Liz, to Avery and her mother, followed by a stop, drop, and roll to get out of an awkward encounter
- "Hey, I don't bail! I'm still watching Smash!"- Liz, to Criss
- "Have fun always carrying a light sweater!" - Jenna, to Hazel after she warns her she'll have to move to the Bay Area
- " I get your Yankees tickets on A-Rod bobble head day. And I’m going to throw that thing in front of a train. Go Phillies!”- Liz, showing her hometown pride to Jack
- "Check out Kim Jung Un's pants! Where's the flood?" - Avery, to Scott
- "You know what kind of women in their 40s have never been married, Liz? Uggos, crazies, and bailers. You’re not an uggo. And you’re Haha Crazy, not Oh Boy crazy, which means you bail!" - Criss, to Liz
- "Maggie Smith is a treasure!” - Avery
- "Darth Vader. Ninjas. Some black licorice I tried to make into the shape of my dad.”- Tracy, on his black role models
- "For instance, in Pixar’s upcoming movie about trash, I’m doing the voice of a lazy bottle of grape-flavored soda named Funky Bobo." - Tracy
- "There will never be a president Ashton, or a Dr. Katniss, or a non-sexually confused Lorne.” - Jack
So where does that leave us for the shortened upcoming Season 7? Hopefully with Criss and Liz having a baby, Jack finally getting to run Kabletown, Hazel moving out of New York City for good, Jenna marrying Paul, Tracy dethroning Tyler Perry, and Lutz ... never mind, Lutz is the worst. What are you hoping to see for next season? Did you find the Season 6 finale surprisingly lackluster, too? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Photo credit: NBC]
30 Rock Renewed! Ham!
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Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
The title is perplexing. Is it about being in the prime of your life? Or is it about getting ready to start anew? Maybe it’s about math. No wait that’s Proof. Actually Prime tackles both themes of starting anew and being at your peak. For Manhattanite Rafi (Uma Thurman) a 37-year-old photographer reeling from a recent divorce that means finding a new love with David (Bryan Greenberg) a 23-year-old Jewish artist. Rafi's therapist (Meryl Streep) is thrilled for her patient--until of course she finds out it’s her own son Rafi has fallen for. You see not only is Rafi 14 years older than David and wants different things from life she also is not Jewish--a big no-no in David’s family. It doesn’t seem likely this charmed couple can overcome such vast obstacles.
Outside director Quentin Tarantino’s realm Thurman’s performances have been spotty at best. But in Prime she proves her mettle--and finally gets to play a real girl instead of an butt-kickin’ assassin out to Kill Bill. The actress has never looked more luminous and she gives an emotionally layered performance as the divorcée just looking for a meaningful relationship. Greenberg (TV’s One Tree Hill) also holds his own as the terribly sweet and eager David who can’t help himself. Together the two keep it real and sexy. Streep unfortunately weighs things down. Comedies have never been the Oscar winner’s forte and her Jewish mother is way too over the top. She never really seems to connect with anyone.
It’s intriguing that the guy who wrote and directed the testosterone-driven Boiler Room a poor man’s Wall Street can turn around and make a fairly convincing movie about a May-December romance. Apparently writer/director Ben Younger had the idea for Prime mulling around in his brain for eight years giving him plenty of time to flesh out real characters. He also surprisingly manages to escape the romantic pitfalls--no pat ending here. The problem is Younger likes to hear himself talk. The film tends to run on--in serious intonations no less--especially with the scenario involving the disapproving Jewish mother. There is enough conflict between Rafi and David with the age difference alone don’t you think? Just ask Demi and Ashton.