It is my opinion that every major American movie is about the Love between Men. More than an opinion, it is a conviction. You can argue with me, but you will be wrong. You can say, like someone did last week, “What about African Queen?” Before I could even reply that in that movie, Katharine Hepburn is essentially a man, he guessed it himself!
I’m not even talking about “Lord of the Rings,” which anyone can see is totally gay. I’m not talking about Top Gun or Lawrence of Arabia, which are blatant festivals of homoerotic love. How about “Proof”, has anyone seen that? It’s really about the love between Jake Whatsisname and Gwyneth’s father, not Jake and Gwyneth. “Syriana?” The love between George Clooney and the doomed Prince. “Pirates of the Carribean” – Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. The looks exchanged between the men in these movies are more loaded with passion and longing than anything that transpires between a man and woman.
You might think you’ve found an exception, and exceptions prove the rule. But remember: any movie (or TV series, for that matter) where the plot revolves around an enmity between two men is really about their thwarted love. “Deadwood”, my current favorite TV series, is full of relationships, but all the action, really, is riding on the deep love between the Swearengen and Bullock, the saloon owner and the sherrif. Their love is beyond mere friendship or sex: it is Destiny Itself. Noble, unshakable, and gay as the day is long.
This has been my conviction for so many years, my husband just looks at me out of the corner of his eye when we watch the pivotal scene in every movie where the Two Men exchange The Look. “Say it,” he taunts me. “I don’t even have to say it” I have come to reply. Sometimes I let him say the words himself: “It’s the love between Men!” Sometimes, like in “Heat”, with Al Pacino and Robert DiNiro as the lovesick mortal enemies, I can barely watch.
For most of us, this is probably old news. I didn’t need Quentin Tarantino to explain it to me. When I saw Top Gun, I wanted to yell: Just Kiss Already! each time Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer glared at each other. So I’m not claiming to be breaking any new ground here. I’m just wondering if anyone wants to either back me up or pretend I’m wrong.