It seems that once again I find myself wildly entertained by a bad movie everyone else hated. And I’m not talking like “Oh, I saw Snakes on a Plane twice, and I would totally see it again” bad. Or even “Shooter involves some really implausible plot points, but damn if I won’t see just about anything with Marky Mark in it” bad. I’m talking “Critics seem to agree that this may be Al Pacino’s worst film, and not just because his hair seems to have a life of its own in it” bad. And I enjoyed it utterly without irony.
Which just goes to show, once again, that if an actress I like plays a lesbian in a movie, I will love that movie. No questions asked.
(Seriously, I thought it was a fun little thriller that was totally worth seeing. Then again, I am a filmmaker’s dream, in that I am rarely bothered by such nagging details as “continuity” or “logic.” I am fully able to sit back, suspend my disbelief, and be entertained. It’s actually more impressive for someone to make a movie I don’t enjoy.)
This is clearly a unique phenomenon. Just as most straight people I know aren’t heartened by the sight of other straight couples in public, I sincerely doubt there is anyone out there who goes to a movie and thinks, “Wait, Brad Pitt is playing a heterosexual in this film? That is amazing.” (Maybe that’s a bad example, but I can’t really think of any famously out actors who happen to be hetero heartthrobs. Anyone? Bueller?)
Certainly there’s some part of it that’s just about representation; I’m always happy to see a queer character in a movie or television show, even if the happiness dwindles when that character turns out to be a serial killer or a sexual deviant half an hour later. (Not that that happens in 88 Minutes. Just, you know, in basically every episode of Law and Order ever.) And certainly some part of it is prurient interest on my part, because when I know zip about a movie going into it there’s nothing that pleasantly surprises me more than getting to see Amy Brenneman get it on with a lady. (Let’s be real: Amy Brenneman is a hottie. She is Lauren Graham Hot. She is Mary Louise Parker hot. She is slightly older Jorja Fox hot.)
The bottom line for me is that the more queer characters I see in film, the more relaxed I can feel. I know we’re still in that awkward place of Gays Are Funny! And Also Sometimes Gross. And Don’t Forget Dangerous! when it comes to mainstream representation, but seeing more and more of those references–even throwaway ones, even stereotypical ones–really gives me hope.