We are all gay now
Oh oh. America loves the gay.
If you think discussions about â€œBrokeback Mountainâ€ are winding down, think again. The story of a doomed love affair between two cowboys in 1960s Wyoming has become a surprise commercial success, as well as a critical hit. On Tuesday, one day after its best-picture win at the Golden Globes, Ang Leeâ€™s film based on an Annie Proulx short story hit No. 1 at the box office, topping the mainstream sports drama â€œGlory Road,â€ which was showing on about three times as many screens. With a nationwide take of more than $33 million, it has already earned more than double its production costs.
Even in predominantly Mormon Utah, where one theater owner cancelled its scheduled showings of the picture, the film was an unexpected smash in Salt Lake City where it grossed $40,000 its first weekend. â€œFor a film like this, thatâ€™s saying something in my business,â€ Schamus says. And in Mason City, Iowa, last week, 41 people petitioned an eight-screen commercial multiplex to get the movie shown. â€œItâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve seen that happen,â€ says the cinemaâ€™s assistant manager, Johnny Mattis, who explains that the film was scheduled to arrive on Jan. 27 anyway.
Ann Eichler, a 63-year-old grandmother in Scottsdale, Ariz., is smack in the middle of that demographic. She went to a 12:30 p.m. weekday showing without her husband and found the theater packed with women. â€œI think men are so uncomfortable with this kind of thing, even if they are very liberal-minded,â€ explains Eichler, who says she was enormously moved by the film. She admits she was â€œa little worried about a seeing a homosexual love scene, but I found I could handle it.â€ And she adds that her husband was kind of â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ about her seeing the movie. â€œHe knows itâ€™s out there, he just doesnâ€™t want to talk about it.â€
Eichlerâ€™s husband is not alone. On personal blogs, around water coolers and even on Web sites like WebMD.com, women are talking about trying to get their husbands to go see it and debating whether not wanting to see it makes you a homophobe–â€œnoâ€ say many heterosexual men, they just donâ€™t want to see chick flicks. â€œI didnâ€™t even want to see â€˜Cold Mountain’,â€ protests one.
Meanwhile, “Seinfeld” creator Larry David deftly tackled one of the most sensitive issues for some straight men in a recent New York Times op-ed piece. David said that heâ€™s afraid to go see the film because he might hear a little voice in his head saying of the cowboys: â€œGo ahead, admit it, theyâ€™re cute. You canâ€™t fool me, gay man.â€