Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend (2011): Normalization of Homosexuality

Weekend (2011)
dir: Andrew Haigh

And so, it's come to this...

This is exactly the type of movie I have been resistant to including in this blog. The only reason to include Weekend is because it is about the homosexual lifestyle. In the most normal, boring, manner that pervades heterosexual movies, Weekend makes a movie about two gay dudes who fall in love over the course of 2 days before one goes off to Oregon for a couple of years.

If this set up sounds familiar, it's because it is the type of time-sensitive plot that has been happening in hetero movies for ages, most obviously in Richard Linklater's Before Midnight.

These two gay guys come together over a weekend, fuck, talk, fuck, talk, go out, do drugs, fuck. They both have their own issues. One is an artist who makes taped recordings of all his conquests as an "art project" though its almost a way to distance himself from his conquests. The other writes about the dudes on his laptop as a way to prove he's living. They both have feelings about coming out and gay marriage and the normalization of gay culture.

And, blah blah blah.

This is a movie for people who like to watch people who act like people do things they could be doing themselves. There isn't any real exploration of relationships here. The comments of the world seem to be a sort of How To Be Gay 101, for people who haven't learned how to work that into their lives yet. Maybe it is made for straight people, in order to shove gay sex romance into their faces and see how they respond. But, as the artist says in the movie, gay people just want to see dick (Tom Cullen never shows his), straight people don't care about gays. And, so, it's just two normal-ish people doing normal things for 12 hours.

I remember when Kids came out, and everybody was all "ZOMG." I saw it, and was like "yeah yeah, blah blah blah. Why wasn't I doing this while watching this movie?" Same for Weekend. My whole feeling coming out of it is "This movie reflects life well enough, but why am I watching it instead of actually going out and hooking up myself?"

I wish it didn't feel so much like Gay Basics class, where the two characters are overexplaining every aspect of gay life. As a gay man, that sort of thing is already covered, and has already been covered, by the coming out genre in the 90s and early 00s. Especially with Beautiful Thing and Get Real, or any number of other gay movies that have come out since then. I have been wanting gay movies about gay lives that aren't so squeaky clean and honest. Weekend doesn't fill that need.

Is it good?  Sure, it's subjectively good. It's well paced, it's gorgeously shot, it has 2 beautiful men having sex, its an honest story, it's well acted. It has a lot going for it. It's just not what I want.

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