Queer-ass folk

Posted on 23 Jan 2009 at 12:35am
By ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Life+Style Editor jones@dallasvoice.com

Despite a sexy attitude, the British date flick ‘Mr. Right’ goes wrong

2.5 out of 5 Stars
"Mr. Right"
Four Day Weekend Theater, 312 Houston St.,
Fort Worth. Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. $8. Qcinema.org.



MEN BEHAVING BADLY | It’s hard to keep score of all the sexcapades in the sexy but too-familiar comedy ‘Mr. Right,’ which screens at Q Cinema on Tuesday.

The history of queer cinema runs in cycles, from agit-prop to sad victim and finally the "we’re-just-like-you-only-gay" stories. Another Gay Movie, a virtual remake of American Pie, will probably go down in the annals of film as proof that gay sex comedies can be as banal as straight ones.

So the question I asked myself while watching Mr. Right, a fast-paced and somewhat confusing urban relationship romp, was: If these people were all straight, would the characters be enough to engage a non-gay audience? And how much do the English accents make it all a little easier to swallow?

Certainly the types are as familiar as a rerun of Queer as Folk: A sexually promiscuous hottie (Benjamin Hart), a stable gay dad (Rocky Marshall), an unconfident schlub (writer and co-director David Morris) with a cute boyfriend, a twink (Luke DeWolfson) who imagines himself the next great undiscovered artist, the fag hag (Georgia Zaris) with the beau  (Jeremy Edwards) who bristles at the idea of two guys "doing it." It has the hip energy of Sex and the City with a Cockney patois: Sexy, zippy, too clever to explain itself clearly. Keep up or fall by the wayside, it challenges.

Well, I began to fall, and early.

It’s starts promisingly enough, introducing the men who orbit around Louise, who serially dates men who turn out to be gay. The tone begins light-heartedly, even magical. But it quickly devolves into a cinematic "Where’s Waldo," where sorting out the complex relationships and character motivations becomes exhausting.

Co-directed by the brother and sister team of David and Jacqui Morris, Mr. Right clips along, but ultimately trods the same ground as most adult-themed gay slice-of-life comedies. Eye-candy aside, it’s all a bit too familiar.

Note: Q Cinema screens Mr. Right on a Tuesday this month, instead of the usual Wednesday.         

QUEER CLIP: ‘AMELIA’

It’s not just her performances as a transgender teen in Boys Don’t Cry and as a butch boxer in Million Dollar Baby that have made Hilary Swank a darling of the gay community; it is her embrace of tomboyishness in every role, including famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart in Amelia. A linear, far from daring biopic is elevated by her gutsy, plain-spoken performance and the way director Mira Mair captures the glamor of early aviation. The film is far less reckless than Earhart was, but Swank goes full-throttle portraying  the heart of a hero.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 23, 2009.

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