After making me laugh hysterically, this made me cry out of happiness... and realize just how much art has followed life.
32 years ago, Victor/Victoria
brought one of the first English-language, lighthearted treatments of gay life to the big screen. Unfortunately, that tone didn't stick around long.
The 1980s gave us gay-themed films that grew increasingly dreary with the rise of the AIDS epidemic, culminating in Longtime Companion
; while the attempts to address relationships like Parting Glances
all fell under HIV's shadow.
The 1990s brought some glimmers of hope in self-mocking comedy such as Jeffrey
, The Birdcage
, and In & Out
while not quite shaking off the stigma of the previous decade; the attempts at breaking new ground were mainly relegated to the suspense/thriller genre with titles such as The Living End
; and we were periodically reminded with a sledgehammer of the impact of AIDS and homophobia with Philadelphia
, It's My Party
, and Relax... It's Just Sex
But one new genre arose in the late 1990s: the gay coming-of-age/lost-young-adult (and often coming-out) film. Standouts of the time included 1998's Edge of Seventeen
, which was amazing for its time, but seems so very dated and depressing today; 1999's But I'm a Cheerleader
, fun but a bellwether of the soon-to-come forced storylines in the next decade; along with 1999's Trick
and Better Than Chocolate
, which hinted at a light at the end of the tunnel.
The 2000s finally saw the despondent, and by this point formulaic, AIDS self-loathing films fall by the wayside. In their place were movies searching for a place at the table like Hedwig
, and Shelter
(2007), along with attempts at refining the coming-out film which largely backfired, resulting in somewhat forced-feeling pieces such as The Curiosity of Chance
, Adam & Steve
, and a laundry list of others; and even plays on the idea of the closet itself such as I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Well, gay film has finally grown up to the point that even the coming-of-age comedy can be entirely free of the guilt and angst of the previous generation. G.B.F.
(short for Gay Best Friend, of course!) finally hits the nail on the head -- forget Mean Girls
; this is entirely fun and does it all the right ways.
This couldn't arrive at a more appropriate time, as social opinions are now changing at a rapid pace that none of us could have ever foreseen. As I write this, the news of yet another same-sex marriage ban falling (pending an issued stay order) is making the rounds: this time, Virginia.G.B.F.
is entirely worth the watch. And -- spoiler alert! -- by the end of the film, the boy gets the boy. But you probably already guessed that by now. #GBFmovie #GayFilm #Equality