Judge Brett Cullum can laugh at jokes about butt plugs and hamsters. But jokes about using hamsters as butt plugs? That's just going too far.
Mother: You didn't come home last night. What's going on?
So this is the sound of progress marching gaily forward? After decades of straight teen sex comedies from Porky's to American Pie, now comes the first gay teen sex comedy. Another Gay Movie is a self-proclaimed "fabulous" spoof of many straight coming of age comedies (and some nods to gay coming out classics). But considering it has four virgins vowing to "lose it" before college, it owes the most to American Pie. (Seeing that guy humping a freshly baked quiche also gives it away.) This is hardly groundbreaking material of great importance, but gay movies often take themselves far too seriously so this makes for a nice change. It's funny, raunchy, and has some of the most graphic sex scenes you've ever witnessed in a "somewhat" mainstream release. But true to its gross out comedy form, the naked scenes are not sexy as much as they are sick—and more than a little twisted. Any movie where Graham Norton is asked to ruin a coffee table with his own excrement, or where Richard Hatch appears completely naked (with no digital blurring) for his entire screen time, is flirting with a new level of distaste that makes even John Waters slightly nervous. Another Gay Movie is truly funny even while taking gross out of the closet along with every "trick" in the book. It should make the rounds of circuit boy movie nights in bars and fabulous homes everywhere.
There's not much plot to get in the way of the relentless gags. Andy (Michael Carbonaro, A Tale of Two Pizzas), Nico (Jonah Blechman, who made an infamous appearance on Walker, Texas Ranger), Jarod (Jonathan Chase, The Gingerdead Man), and Griff (Mitch Morris, recognizable as the gun toting radical friend of Justin in Queer as Folk) are four gay friends graduating from high school who have yet to go "all the way." They make a pact to slip between the sheets and have sex before the summer is over, but somehow none of them thinks to do it with each other (at least initially). Standing in the way are a multitude of sex toys, web sites, softball games, and gay luminaries appearing as stereotypes from the GLBT community. Recognizable faces include Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall), Graham Norton (aggressively out talk show host from Britain), Richard Hatch (the gay naked guy that won the first season of Survivor), John Epperson (celebrated NYC drag artist Lypsinka), James Getzlaff (the poor loveless gay guy from Bravo's Boy Meets Boy), Darryl Stephens (the lead from Logo's hit Noah's Arc), Matthew Rush (porn star), Ant (out comedian from Last Comic Standing), Robert Laughlin (Queer Eye for the Straight Girl), and others I'm sure you may recognize from the pages of Out magazine and The Advocate. Be sure and catch the celebrity gerbil even gets his own credit billed as "Homer Gere."
The director of this queer "Cirque Du So Gay" is Todd Stephens who is known for his debut 1998 feature Edge of Seventeen—a soft, sensitive, coming out tale that many people admire. He directs with no subtlety here, and channels the spirit of John Waters for Another Gay Movie. Even the film's look, from production details to cinematography, reminds me of the classic films from Baltimore that often starred Divine. This style has been used frequently in GLBT cinema; look at Beverly Kills or Adam and Steve. Here it's also crossed with the mainstream sensibility of American Pie, as if a director of one of the Scary Movie films took over and painted it pink. Another Gay Movie is too obscene to make it to a mall megaplex, but only because it is working with a gay sensibility and plenty of nudity. It's super raunchy, but then Eurotrip wasn't exactly fine cinema for straight teens with taste, either.
TLA Releasing offers a deluxe package for the movie that will amaze fans, especially those clamoring for the deleted scenes with Mink Stole (a John Waters muse seen in Pink Flamingos and every film the man makes) . The movie was shot digitally, so the transfer is robust and artifact free. The full surround treatment provides plenty of oomph to the proceedings. Key to the extras is the inclusion of several deleted sequences including the notable lost Mink stole scene which spoofs a popular bathroom confrontation from Trick. A well done commentary by the director and producer provides all the details on the production's aspirations and how it was made (and even who stuffed their underwear and who didn't for key scenes). There are a couple of featurettes, and a nice interview with the director and lead actor. There's also a baffling segment called "Pillow Talk with Grandpa Muffler," as well as some web links you can access from your computer. Be careful where you purchase Another Gay Movie, because there is a "rated retail" version floating around out there. Make sure to look closely at the bottom (no giggles) of the box and see an "uncut, theatrical version" banner across it to ensure you are seeing everything.
This flick is best enjoyed with a good crowd of supportive gay guys who are ready for a comedy about sex. Ironically, though, Another Gay Movie should unintentionally offend its target audience. It was designed to ask the question "Why is it dirty if we use all the same gags from a straight teen sex film?" Yet when you put voracious sexual appetites onto teenage gay boys it comes off super naughty. It feels more sexually forward simply by bombarding us with relentless images of boy-meets-boy action. Sensitive members of the GLBT community will resent the stereotypes of the over sexed, the overly femme, and those reluctant to come out as the receptive partner in a homosexual relationship. The movie is unapologetic about poking fun at being gay, but that's the charm. Certainly American Pie plays into myths of how hormonally challenged straight teens act, so why should this veer in any other direction? Like all good spoofs, it takes things to the extreme and then some. If you're not able to laugh at jokes about butt plugs, hamsters, and the occasional misplaced quiche, then I suggest scouring Blockbuster or Netflix for…well…another gay movie besides this one.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: TLA Releasing
• Commentary by Director Todd Stephens and Producer Jesse Martin
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