I've been having a lot of fun with this movie. I was rolling on the floor as Craig Ferguson impersonated attempts at gay cowboy movies by actors through the ages (Tom Mix, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood). I laughed as that guy from The Producers did a brief musical of the film on David Letterman's show, not to mention the parody with the grizzly prospectors on Saturday Night Live. I've made my share of jokes, too, as my wife will attest. I tell her I want to go see it, but I want to take the best man from our wedding along. Maybe put a hand on his knee at the right moment...
I was disappointed when I learned that the movie wasn't about Old West cowboys. Inspired, I announced to my wife that I was going to write a screenplay about a couple of amorous cowpokes on a cattle drive in the 1880s and make big bucks. My brother even liked the idea, adding that just because I write the screenplay doesn't mean I have to see the film it becomes. Alas, my wife forbade me, no matter how much it would pay. You can see why I'm the one who manages the finances around here.
While I have enjoyed making fun of Brokeback Mountain, at the same time I was curious about its allure. Surely this movie was about more than just bringing Hollywood out of the closet, so to speak. Rather than watching the movie (sorry, not gonna happen), I read half a dozen reviews. Apparently it's the best love story released this past year regardless of the "controversy."
Today I had an epiphany -- Brokeback Mountain is the ideal chick flick. It's a touching romance that women can cry over, while at the same time guys who don't want to think about two guys doing it have a perfect excuse not to watch it! Even most of us straight guys who aren't anti-gay don't want to actually see two guys going at it. But women, particularly those who are into "important" or "artistic" movies (the type who will go see anything that wins an award, even if it is French with Greek subtitles), won't be able to stay away. Few straight guys want to see romantic, emotional, heartbreaking love stories regardless of the genders involved, so Brokeback Mountain doesn't even try to get us to come to the theater. Brilliant! Straight guys should be begging for movies like this -- send the women off to watch the gay whatever movie (construction workers, cops, the whole range of Village People) so the men can play touch football or engage in some other ambiguously homoerotic male bonding.
Despite my disinterest in romantic stuff noted above, I must say that last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother was pretty darn romantic. And Ashley Williams was pretty darn hot besides. This is one of the few television shows that I admire as a writer. The ultimate was the "urinating in public" episode -- I'm still trying to figure out the thought process of how they threaded those plots together.
UPDATE - 01/31/2006 - While author Annie Proulx was inspired by Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains, it turns out that Brokeback Mountain was actually shot in Alberta. Ugh, there's another reason not to go see it (no offense to Alberta, but I love Wyoming).