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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror’

I think we must acknowledge that it is a strike for equality when a formerly — and often still — denigrated minority can take the terrible stereotypes that have been assigned to it… and deploy those stereotypes itself.
I’m not sure why gays and lesbians would want to embrace a film that describes its own characters with terms like these:

• “sophisticated, entrepreneurial lipsticks”
• “upscale guppie power couple”
• “annoying fag-hag friend”
• “struggling folk singer”
• “tough-talking tomboy”
• “sugar daddy”
• “personal trainer”

I know this is all meant to be campy, but that’s a genuinely horrifying collection of labels right there. Not that there’s anything wrong with being, say, “sophisticated” or a “folk singer,” of course — though “annoying fag-hag friend” is really ungenerous, and I bet she’s the first to die. It’s the laziness and the condescension on the part of the filmmakers that is sorta disturbing… and a blow for equality at the same time. Now the proud-and-out also have their own stupid excuses for comedies! (The movie may not actually be stupid, but the marketing of it sure makes it sound as if it is. I haven’t seen the movie, and this seems designed to ensure I won’t be adding it to my Netflix queue.)

Maybe it’s all a bigger political statement than I’m seeing, though. For we’re told that “what should have been the biggest gay party weekend of the year quickly turns into every gay and lesbian’s worst nightmare!” Prop 8?



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