Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

The Department of O! for Heaven's sake

There had to be movies at the festival that I watched and ended up not especially caring for, and by chance they all happened to me on the same day; I'm going to keep this brief because I have a lot to get done.

So, OK, OMG HAHAHA has the nice idea going for it of being a gay-friendly teen comedy for the Facebook Generation and somehow it kept losing me and I don't think it was because I am an old fart. It had a lot of neat ideas and several sequences that were very watchable - a fight about homophobic hate speech outside a cafe with a Schubert piano trio over the top of most of the dialogue; the two homophobes sitting disconsolate against a wall in a perfectly composed shot; the closest thing the film has to a protagonist discussing in his vlog whether or not he counts as emo, and how to tie a tie. In the end, it didn't go anywhere for me except some cheap sentimentality - a soundtrack song about baby brothers dominates the last minutes as an older boy drives a younger boy home; SFW as its characters would say.

Tru Loved was a movie that I really wanted to like but it turned out to be a Pollyanna story whose shiny young heroine with her two sets of gay parents sets the worlds to rights without ever experiencing much in the way of grief. It was a well-intentioned movie with a lot of guest stars - Nichelle Nichols, Jane Lynch, Alec Mapa (Suzuki St. Pierre in Ugly Betty but it was not big on effective drama. The football player she beards for eventually comes out and his friends and family do not reject him; she finds a nice metrosexual boy; one of the cheerleaders starts dancing with a girl. If the jokes had been funnier, I would not have minded the absence of angst; as it is, I yearned for trauma

And got it in spades in Burning Bridges a Mexican film which piles on big themes and symbolic moments to the point where I quietly wanted to throw things. Incestuous passion that never even goes there; teen gay romance that doesn't go anywhere much either; a dying mother, who in due course dies; symbolic ants; a walk on the rooftop of a baroque church; a young nun falling for a gardener; some mysterious thugs who do the bidding of the male protagonist's best friend; an irritating comic relief woman obsessed with ping pong; a sullen servant. It's one of those stews where you throw in a lot of things and somehow they fail to become a dish worth serving but remain a random association of elements.

It was like a cut up of every magic realist novel I ever read, but not as good as that makes it sound...
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