by Michael Koresky
Another Gay Movie
Dir. Todd Stephens, U.S., TLA Releasing
“Who’s Paul Lynde? Is he hot?” asks one of the many out-and-loving-it teens in Todd Stephens’s Another Gay Movie, perfectly encapsulating the film’s inherent dual target audiences: those drenched in decades of queer camp, and those whose only knowledge of gay culture goes all the way back to Queer Eye. A follow-up to Stephens’s 1998 Edge of Seventeen, which has basically become somewhat of a classic in one of filmdom’s most recently crowned genres, Another Gay Movie neatly resists that film’s seminal coming-out narrative and, instead, aims for the gutter, and in so doing, makes a pretty impressive stab at equal opportunity lowest common denominator filmmaking. One could quibble that gays finally having their own Scary Movie might be as dubious a distinction, as say, oh, the first gay western, but Another Gay Movie is so rabidly forthright in its splattering of orifice-indiscriminate man-juices that it reaches a level of almost cleansingly ribald sadism. Indeed its crosscut climactic triumvirate of ass-pounding reaches levels of decadent perversity normally unseen outside a Tsai Ming-liang closing sequence.
Stephens’s balls-out sex comedy may be scattershot, but as everyone by now must know, the see-what-sticks approach comes with the territory. The general pandering to the gay community’s threshold for kitsch results in a nonstop barrage of homo B-list celebs, running from the appealing (Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson) to the amusingly grotesque (a naked Richard Hatch, natch) to the befuddlingly “who’s that again?” (another reality TV star, the handsomely charisma-free James Getzlaff, from Bravo’s Boy Meets Boy). Of course, the real headliners here are the four leads, and considering how much skin Stephens scores here, one can only hope they left high school long ago. The oldest in reality, Jonah Blechman, who’s relievedly over 30 and seemingly been in the gay-ghetto trenches forever (he was Leo DiCaprio’s effeminate middle-school chum way back in This Boy’s Life), plays the requisite pop culture-spouting, increasingly kabuki-makeup-caked queen; Jonathan Chase is the chiseled jock so busy trying to score in the sheets that he doesn’t notice the good opposites-attract opportunity staring him in the face, played by the alarmingly cute Mitch Morris, who by sheer virtue of wearing glasses, is deemed the haplessly nerdy one. (Oh, that and he seems to carry a dictionary with him wherever he goes.) And finally, there’s the all-American nice guy, our surrogate Jason Biggs—that is if Jason Biggs looked somewhat like a twink porn star and had time to work on his pecs in between bouts of studying chemistry and beating off to internet porn.
It’s all exactly as you’d expect, with the volume and zippy pace cranked perhaps a little higher and brighter than one is normally used to seeing in what would seem like, well, just another gay movie. God help any straight boy who wanders into this thing, with its parade of achingly huge dildos, butt plugs, Belgian chocolate, and in homage to the Weitz brothers, pastry-fucking, if of the less manly variety. (Referring to anus, one boy promises, with lascivious pubescent yearning that it feels like “ warm Quiche Lorraine,” before offering his two fingers to waft beneath his buds’ noses.) As rigorously debauched as even the turd-eating American Wedding was (and that one did edge dangerously close to Salo territory), odds are even the “Pie” trilogy’s target audience wouldn’t be steeled up enough for the sight of what happens to Chase’s member after becoming stuck in deranged electrical penis pump.
Another Gay Movie certainly won’t go to any lengths to quell the stereotype that gay men are sex-crazed, but hell, these aren’t men, they’re high-school boys who happen to be gay, and who need to stick their dicks in something before they explode with hormonal desperation. Post graduation, the four make a direct-from-Pie pact to lose their cherries before they head off to college; there’s no talk of the closet here, all four boys (and a handful of obnoxiously tongue-wagging bull dykes) are out and not bothered a smidgen about it, their only true conundrum being whether they should designate themselves as tops or bottoms (all of course, still assuming a macho posture, claim top). It could be a gaytopia if not for the lack of available shaved asses in town…not to mention the occasional lapse into shrill, obvious Mommie Dearest and Carrie parody (three guesses as to what’s in the pig-slop bucket this time…)
Gay culture, like all other conformist communities, needs a good whipping every now and then, and like the Weitz brothers’ American Pie jock-mockery, Stephens’s film seems all at once perplexed, disgusted, and tickled pink by its central cast of misfits. Except that Another Gay Movie, with its delighted open-robe flashing of all things disenfranchised, is a far more palatable, far less hypocritical work of anti-establishment. Free of Pie’s inherently hegemonic rebel-shock posture, Stephens’s film is a nifty little counter-culture treasure, flouncing and trouncing everything in its path en route to unapologetic orgasm.