You would have to go all the way back to the 1970 film version of Boys in the Band to find a movie containing this many self-loathing, lurid, gay caricatures in one place. And you might have to go way, way back to Disney's Song of the South to find an endeavor so completely, one-hundred percent unaware of just how offensive it is to the very subjects it's attempting to "honor". I'm still stupefied, hours after having seen it. Completely dumbfounded.
The bizarre thing is this movie has strangely little to do with Stonewall -- the place OR the historical event. It merely serves as a backdrop during the first one-hundred minutes for a dopey, sloppy gay coming-of-age-story, where the characters are like pathetic zoo animals to be watched, studied and ultimately patronized in a way that reenforces comfortable superiority.
Disrespectful in every conceivable way.
The story follows a good-looking, farm boy ("Danny", played by promising Jeremy Irvine) in 1969 who's forced to leave his small town before graduating high school due to a scandal involving himself, a car, another boy and oral sex. He immediately takes a bus to New York, where he takes up with a band of effeminate and dirty street urchins in what looks to be the cast of "Gay Miz". It's from Danny's point of view that we experience the ensuing moment in gay rights history.
I had heard that the director (Roland Emmerich) didn't want to make this movie "just for gay people." He should feel satisfied. This is clearly a piece of cinema about gay people for straight people to consume. Straight people in the 80's, that is.
Emmerich also depicts constant and steady disdain for the "sissy" archetype with an insidious little subtext that masculine behavior is more palatable for all involved and should be affected whenever
possible. A noble topic for the gay community to chew but handled clumsily here.
Did I mention self-loathing? Virtually every character, gay/straight, butch/nelly hates themselves to a clinical degree. Every moment of intimacy carries the icky stench of a scene from Al Pacino's "Cruising". I kept thinking what it would have done to me to be a gay teen and witness this dreck and the damage it could do to a gay youth now. It may be the equivalent of what it was like for me to read EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX as a gay teen, which promised a future of bathroom sex, cross-dressing and jail. And only one of those things ever really happened.
Don't see this banal bullshit.
(Loudinni specializes in reviews to be read in under a minute.)