Friday, March 26, 2010

Big Gay Musical

The fourth film in Melbourne Queer Film Festival that I attended was the musical and romantic comedy The Big Gay Musical. The film contained some of the most good-natured satire I have ever watched, and was charming and funny throughout.

The Festival blurb for the film said:
When Paul and Eddie begin previews for the new Off-Broadway musical Adam and Steve: Just the Way God Made ‘Em, they find their lives imitating art. Paul is looking for the perfect man and Eddie is dealing with how he can reconcile his sexuality with his faith. After yet another disastrous dating experience, Paul has an epiphany and decides he’s done dating and just wants to be a slut like the sexy chorus boys. Eddie comes to terms with telling his fundamentalist parents that he’s gay and is starring in a show that calls the Bible the Breeder’s Informational Book of Living Examples. While Eddie comes out to his family, Paul's manhunt project threatens to stall before it starts. But after musical numbers with scantily-clad tap dancing angels, a re-telling of Genesis, tele-evangelists, a camp that attempts to turn gay kids straight, and a bunch of show-tunes, everyone realises that life gets better once they accept who they really are.
Opening and closing queer film fests the world over, and with great original tunes with titles like ‘I Wanna Be a Slut’, and ‘God Loves Gays’, The Big Gay Musical is campy fun.
Absolutely no false advertising there.

There was a particularly cliched scene early in the film about Christianity supposing to mean loving one another that could have happily been cut, but it turned out not to be indicative of the rest of the film. There was a lot of musical numbers, partly because excerpts from the musical the two protagonists were starring in was interspersed with the action and partly because Paul regularly sang at a Mostly Sondheim open mike night. The two protagonists wrestled with related but not identical issues while the chorus boys were a hoot. There were also some nicely observed moments.

There was some great visual gags and other amusing touches (including having Brent Corrigan [link not worksafe] star as a hustler) plus a particularly poignant subplot carried off without any words at all. Everyone seemed to be having heaps of fun. That the film ended on a note of the transformative power of a good musical well, it had every right to. A fun night at the cinema.

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