Being Gay on Film

CLOSET MONSTER

It’s no secret that in the span of American film there hasn’t been the best representation of anyone who isn’t white and straight. When it comes to big blockbusters, you’re main antagonist is usually a white male with a girlfriend or looking for one, all while fighting off something or in the midst of some explosions. The independent films, which there seem to be a lot more of these days, tend to have a mix of some films about LGBT characters but the main choice tends to go with the safe alternative. The reason why I’m bringing this up is because a few days ago I decided to watch Closet Monster, a highly regarded independent film that was released in 2015. This independent film happened to center around an LGBT character, sure he may not fully be out, but nonetheless he’s gay. Like I said, from what I’ve read this is a pretty well received and liked movie. I will be 100% honest and just tell you that this movie was not for me, I did not love it. Now, if we flashback to 16 year old me who is struggling with their sexuality and doesn’t really know who they are, I might’ve enjoyed this a little more. But at the point in my life where I am now, this just didn’t do it for me. It probably doesn’t help that a lot of stories about gay kids revolve around coming out and their parents not agreeing or understanding, which has been a trope since the 90s. And while it is a universal subject with any gay teenager that is struggling to come out, I don’t think it needs to be the same type of coming out story for what seems like every damn movie. I guess what I’m really trying to say is why does every movie about some who is gay or lesbian have to be so depressing? If anyone reads this blog and knows me than they know that I absolutely love movies like Moonlight or Brokeback Mountain or Carol, they’re some of my favorite movies, but I really think it would be nice to get a comedy starring some specifically gay characters. Another Birdcage if you will.

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Going back to Closet Monster, I didn’t dislike everything about it. There are little things like Isabella Rossellini voicing the hamster, Buffy, that were interesting and unique little touches. Our main character’s building relationship with his new coworker is interesting and intriguing. But unfortunately they couldn’t overpower my negatives for this movie. While I do understand what this movie is saying and what it’s doing, there are a lot of points in the movie that feel forced. There were certain stylistic choices for me that didn’t feel like they needed to be in the final cut and were almost distracting at times. And there were certain visual metaphors that felt so much like they were trying to be edgy that I was cringing to a certain degree. I completely understand why someone could like this movie, it’s not poorly made by any means; the writing isn’t necessarily bad even if it feels like it’s fueled by cliches at times, the characters are somewhat interesting even while being annoying, and there are little touches that don’t go unnoticed. It just makes me sad that we don’t have any gay comedies of quality that are being released today and I want more of that. Time after time we get big blockbusters and throwaway romantic comedies, I think it’s time we change that. I’m not completely sure why I decided to talk about this movie or this subject, but I do know that watching Closet Monster brought up the fact that there isn’t enough diversity in films today and it’s horrible.

Would I suggest Closet Monster? Probably not, but I wouldn’t completely dismiss it for the fact alone that I can understand someone emotionally connecting to it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. If anything it’s worth watching for the Isabella Rossellini voiced Hamster. Thanks for checking out my briefly random post about gay movies?? Hope you enjoyed my brief rant and look out for what’s coming next!

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