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What happened to gay rom-coms?

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What happened to gay rom-coms?#1
Posted: 6/25/20 at 12:23am

The late 80's, 90's and early 00's had a bunch of light hearted, gay romantic comedies. True, most of the were not good, but it was great to have a light and fun look at gays falling in love.

I feel since then we mostly get the most tragic, sob stories. Some great films but I wonder why the light-hearted comedy ones seem to be not be made anymore, was it that small of a niche?

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#2
Posted: 6/25/20 at 12:52am
Interesting thought!

I remember coming to terms with my sexuality in middle school/high school and watching every gay movie/tv show I could find on YouTube. This was early 2010s, so I remember “Prayers For Bobby” starting Sigourney Weaver and my one of my all-time favorites “Were the World Mine” (which I must have seen at least fifteen times!). And then there were all those corny rom-coms with questionable acting and a shoestring budget. I remember watching all five of the “Eating Out” movies, and even if there are many things about them that I don’t like or have reservations about, I still have a special place in my heart for them - especially since that was when gay/queer centered media was still somewhat novel.

I don’t know... I feel like as gay themes have become more enmeshed with popular culture, we are getting a lot of movies written and/or directed by straight people. And these tend to be those teary melodramas about coming out, AIDS, and homophobia. Not to say that these topics aren’t still relevant to being gay/queer today, but it does feel almost voyeuristic. Like for straight people to truly understand queer people, it can only be through moments of tragedy, like suicide, murder, or disease. Like the fact that “Love, Simon” and “Love, Victor” are being made is still a big deal in 2020, even if many queer people wrote off both projects. There is little mainstream media that just depicts queer characters living their life - which includes cheesy rom-coms like straight people get tons of.

I wonder if the prevalence of mainstream queer stories has put a lot of indie projects in the back burner. Maybe more directors are transitioning to “art” films, like the gritty “Giant Little Ones” that is compelling, but appropriately brutal. I feel like maybe the more caustic, unfiltered quality of those gay rom-coms from decades past are fading away as more and more gay and queer people are being seen and depicted through the “normative” media lens. Now that “Love, Simon” has graced the big screens, do we want to tie ourselves to “Eating Out 6”? Not that these is a binary between the two, just stray thoughts that are coming to me as I think...

Your questions is very compelling to me. Now that I’ve started I’ll probably be thinking about it for the next few days!
"Sticks and stones, sister. Here, have a Valium." - Patti LuPone, a Memoir
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#3
Posted: 6/25/20 at 8:06am

Now that “Love, Simon” has graced the big screens, do we want to tie ourselves to “Eating Out 6”? Not that these is a binary between the two, just stray thoughts that are coming to me as I think...

I understand what you say; I'm still surprised at how extremist the film industry can be when it comes to gay cinema. True, I'm not asking for "Not Another Gay Movie 7" or any kind of film that hurts the community by pushing stereotypes. But c'mon, going through any gay catalogue in any given platform, I just need to look at the posters to know they mostly have the most dense gay dramas.  I sympathize, but give us some variety! 

While gay lives can be hard and at times heart breaking or tragic, we have some good sense of humor too!   I'm wanting a few like Trick, Jeffrey, etc.  and the times of finding a few of those a year, even if guilty pleasures, seem to be completely gone.

 

 

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#4
Posted: 6/25/20 at 8:37am

I've binged a lot of gay romcoms. You've inspired me to scan imdb for how many were released since 2010. I came up with the following:

2020 - The Thing About Harry - A m/m homage to When Harry Met Sally.
2019 - Almost Love - Scott Evans romcom
2019 - Cousins - Brazilian sex farce.
2018 - Analysis Paralysis - Guy with anxiety disorder tries to enter the dating world.
2018 - Just Friends (Gewoon Vrienden) -Two lads are kept apart by their mothers. Dutch romcom.
2018 - Les Bomb - Lesbian couple come out to their families on Thanksgiving. With Cloris Leachman as the grandmother.
2017 - Screwed (Pihalla) - Finish teen romance.
2016 - Shared Rooms - Four couples prepare for a Christmas party.
2014 - The Way He Looks - Brazilian teen romcom. Blind boy falls for transfer student.
2014 - Waiting in the Wings - Musical about a nerd who falls for a stripper.
2013 - John Apple Jack - Guy falls for his sister's fiance. This one's terrible.
2012 - Big Gay Love - terrible romcom that stands out for co-starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Nicholas Brendan.
2012 - Co-Dependent Space Alien seeks the same - Homage to 50's Ed Wood films.
2012 - Love or Whatever - Therapist falls for pizza delivery boy. This one's also terrible.
2011 - Finding Mr. Wright - Assistant to a diva actress falls for her therapist.
2011 - Longhorns - Sex farce on a college campus.
2011 - The Love Patient - Guy fakes cancer to win back his ex. Trying too hard to shock.
2011 - Romeos - Trans man falls for campus lothario. German romcom.
2011 - Hold Your Peace and The Perfect Wedding - Two films with the same basic plot. Guy brings a fake boyfriend to his ex's wedding.
2011 - What Happens Next - Older man falls for younger man. Wendy Malick plays his disapproving sister.
2010 - Alex and Leo - Two lads are kept apart by snobby friends. German romcom.
2010 - Four More Years - Swedish Politicians in Love. This one was clever.

J.C. Calciano loves making bad gay romcoms. Is It Just Me (2010), eCupid (2011) and The 10 Year Plan (2014) are guilty pleasures streaming on TUBI.

There's quite a drop off after 2012. You have to look outside the U.S. and only a few of these are particularly good. A lot of the amateur gay filmmakers started making web series around that time instead of feature films.

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Updated On: 6/25/20 at 08:37 AM
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#5
Posted: 6/25/20 at 9:40am
The gay rom-com, I’d say really started in The early/mid 90s when indie filmmaking started to take off. They were a direct result of the gloom and doom gay films of the 80s that almost exclusively dealt with The struggles and heartaches of coming out (and then dying of AIDS) or the struggle of just having AIDS. Being born in 1978, I was in my early teens in the early 90s and while I knew I was gay I was (and still am) also a film buff who devoured any and everything. And those AIDS centered films, while important I suppose, scarred me. They were the only media representation of gay men you’d really see, either that or the nelly best friend.

So when (mostly lesbian at first) “normal” gay centered films started coming out it was like this whole other world. I got my first job working at Blockbuster when I was 14 and I wasn’t out so I would switch the gay movies into other cases when I rented them so my manager (who had to check out all rentals to me since I was only 14) wouldn’t see that I was watching them and then put them back the next day, but I was lucky that our Blockbuster got one copy of pretty much all those indie films. So from, I’d say 1994-1998 there seemed to be a new one every week and they mostly sucked. But I, not even knowing I was, was so starved for positive and “normal” depictions of gay life - I would devour them all. Looking back, there really are only a handful that stand the test of time but they all do still hold a special place in my heart.
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#6
Posted: 6/25/20 at 4:05pm

I feel like gay TV has been a lot more interesting of late too. My partner and I have long felt that TV was the same as what what Jordan said - there was always some tragedy which befell the gay characters, and we became really jaded by that. They almost never found love, or were token/comic relief characters, and/or died because AIDS was like the only thing writers seem to come up with for anyone gay on TV. But there has been a shift in the last few years. Here's some of my favorite shows -

1) Vicious - Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play a genuinely horrible British couple. They are SO fun.

2) Please Like Me - I recently discovered this. It's not always happy, but it's very well written, and the lead's sexuality is not the reason sadness happens.

3) Difficult People - (I am now realizing I just TV with really ****ty characters) - absolutely hilarious show. Should never have been cancelled.

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Updated On: 6/25/20 at 04:05 PM
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#7
Posted: 6/25/20 at 6:19pm

I won't lie, at first I thought the title of the post was about gay.com and we were going to be discussing those old chat rooms.

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#8
Posted: 6/25/20 at 10:49pm

Beautiful People Series 1& 2 do it for me every time I need a good kick in the bum[not in a sexual way] to get motivated.

The sheer joy, youthful expectations and characters[Mum and Dad,especially, and Aunt, are real standouts].

The very gay eccentric boy is now/was starring as Jamie.

I love the theme music and how the story 'opens' to its very positive hand in hand stroll down the once beautiful care-free streets of New York.

Time for another look.

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What happened to gay rom-coms?#9
Posted: 6/26/20 at 2:25am

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.

Perhaps I've been oblivious to the fact that the days of finding these as rental pieces are gone. I need to be more open minded to TV and web series.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#10
Posted: 6/26/20 at 8:56am

And by all means check out SCHITT'S CREEK -- the romance that develops between David and Patrick is most entertaining and moving, and never collapses under Bogus Solemnity or Bogus Tragedy.  

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas Pynchon, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick My blog: http://www.roscoewrites.blogspot.com/
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#11
Posted: 6/26/20 at 3:10pm

Patrick's love for David is a revelation in tolerance, sweet love and with no judgement in the others' character, no matter how outrageous the behaviour[and clothes].

I could just eat Patrick, his attitude and acceptance, and innocence is such a joy, proof of a beautifully written and acted gay male.

David I wanted to marry him, my dream soul mate, but can you imagine David as a Mother??

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What happened to gay rom-coms?#12
Posted: 6/27/20 at 6:52pm
I really liked The Way He Looks, mentioned above. It was cute.
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#13
Posted: 6/27/20 at 8:37pm
I hated The Way He Looks. The ending is cute but it’s such a tedious slog through cliches and bad acting and dialogue getting there.
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What happened to gay rom-coms?#14
Posted: 6/27/20 at 9:51pm

I liked The Way He Looks but it was expanded from a short film and the seams occasionally show. If you're curious you can check out the 15 minute original here. Click CC for English subtitles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wav5KjBHbI

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