This weekend my 22 year old daughter was visiting and announced that she wanted to see Brokeback Mountain. Turns out that her fiancé will not see it – a common scenario it turns out with that age males in the burbs. I have been unsure about whether my wife wants to see it – I feel like I am still recovering from seeing Far From Heaven together (a wonderful film). So my daughter and I set off for the multiplex. Of all my children, she is the most fun to be around; the fact that she tends to say exactly what she is thinking is just gravy.
I would have expected that most people know the basics of the film – it’s not exactly a stealth entry. Yet the level of surprise and discomfort in the crowded theatre was notable. When the girls behind us exclaimed at the first kiss – I’m going to gag – I resisted the temptation to explain that gagging is associated with other sex acts. Interestingly enough the kiss seemed to upset them much more than the sodomy. (Even more interesting was my wife's comment when hearing the story that she could understand that.)
More troubling on the global level were the places where there was measurable laughter. When Ennis and Jack are reunited for the first time and wildly grope, while Alma realizes her life will never be the same – well, I did not see the humor.
Driving home from the movie I talked with my daughter (who while straight claims to have an advanced sense of gaydar (thankfully not as good as she thinks when it comes to me). She liked the movie, “got it” and was equally appalled by the audience. She was riffing and stated that in real life she would not be surprised if Jake G is bi – no maybe just curious. She went on to tell me about her college friend who was bi and the fact that she knows a lot of girls who are straight but curious and during college had at least one encounter with another woman. In a rare moment, she did not volunteer if she was among them, but she sure described at as prevalent in her circle.