Monday, January 5, 2009

Best moment in gay-friendly cinema? Not in Milk, but in Tropic Thunder

I probably should have added this to the 'Moments That Mattered' post from a week ago. Oddly enough, the most progressive moment for gay rights came in, of all things, Tropic Thunder. (Spoilers)

When hip-hop rapper turned movie star "Alpha Chino' outs himself at the end of the second act, his co-stars react with astonishment, disbelief, but not ridicule. They get over it immediately and the subject is never raised again, until the end of the movie when he shows up to the big Hollywood premiere with the guy he's been pining for. No speeches are made, no cheap gay jokes are made. It's simply accepted as is, and the only joke is the identity of said crush, as its a callback to the prior campfire scene.

I've always said that progress comes when no one talks about it anyway. In Tropic Thunder, homosexuality is given the highest respect, as its rendered normal, almost boring and unworthy of commentary. In essence, it's 'no big deal'. I'm not a huge fan of the movie, but that moment was a surprise, as was how it was handled.

Scott Mendelson

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