Why I’m Not Going To See Brokeback Mountain or Countering The Brokeback Hype

It’s bad enough that Brokeback Mountain has been relentlessly overhyped like no movie in recent memory, so much so that even George Bush is getting questioned about it.

But, last night, I actually had someone, who was completely puzzled, say to me that she’d been watching the coverage of Brokeback Mountain and didn’t understand how it could be such an enormous blockbuster hit. Maybe that’s a small thing, but for me, it was the last straw.

Let me interject a little reality into the tsunami of ballyhoo that surrounds Brokeback Mountain. Let me take just a moment to counter the overbearing wave of condescending media hucksters and Hollywood high pressure salesmen that have almost been berating the public into watching this film.

First of all, Brokeback Mountain isn’t even close to a mega-hit. In fact, numerous movies that are considered mediocrities are topping it at the box office. If you look at the top 50 grossing movies in the theaters right now, here’s where Brokeback Mountain, which has been out 9 weeks now, ranks in total gross:

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: $285.5M
2) The Chronicles of Narnia: $271.9 M
3) King Kong: $209.9M
4) Polar Express: $173.6M
5) Chicken Little: $133.4M
6) Walk the Line: $102.1M
7) Fun with Dick and Jane: $101.4M
8) Flightplan: $89.5M
9) Cheaper by The Dozen 2: $78.1M
10) The Family Stone: $58.6
11) Yours, Mine, & Ours: $52.6
12) Memoirs of a Geisha: $51.2M
13) Syriana: $45.4M
14) Hostel: $42.7M
15) Brokeback Mountain: $42.1 M

Wow. It even lost to Cheaper by the Dozen 2 which featured a dog attacking Steve Martin’s crotch in the promos. That is impressive. On the other hand, forty million dollars is a lot of dough for a movie about gay cowboys / sheep herders. I mean, you should be able to make a movie like that for about $2000 bucks. What do you need a lot of cash for? Cowboy hats? Chaps? Sheep? Still, given that Brokeback Mountain got 10 times more free publicity than even the most successful movies on this list, the fact that it’s in 15th place is stunningly unimpressive.

For that matter, so are all the Golden Globes that it won because let’s face it, it didn’t win 4 Golden Globe prizes because it’s a good movie, it won 4 Golden Globes because it’s about gay cowboys. And Hollywood thinks more prudish, conservative Americans should be exposed to movies featuring gay cowboys, so they’re using the awards to send a message. They do this same thing every year. This year it’s gay cowboys, next year it’ll be handicapped lesbian Eskimos, and two years from now it’ll be Latino union activists fighting Republicans to save the rainforest.

So, if the movie can’t be all that good, who’s going to see it?

Gay men, women who want to see a movie about relationships, men who want to prove they’re not homophobic, guys who got tricked by the hype, and the same sort of people who go to art galleries, look at a pile of crap that looks like a construction accident, and pretentiously rave about the symmetry and use of color because they think it makes them sound sophisticated.

After all, why would a normal man want to go see this film? Men don’t even want to go see relationship movies that feature men and women, so why would they want to see a movie about two gay cowboys hopping in the saddle together?

Maybe if the gay cowboys were secretly ninjas sworn to avenge their masters or kill crazy ex-seals out to stop a team of Al-Qaeda terrorists from blowing up school buses full of kids, it might be a movie that could appeal to most guys — assuming they didn’t get all touchy-feely and start grabbing each other like the Hobbits did at the end of “Return of the King.”

Whatever the case may be, if people watched the movie and enjoyed it, fantastic, more power to them. But, understand that it’s not a classic, it’s not a must-see movie, it’s just another film that will fade into semi-obscurity like all other lefty cause du jour movies that were promoted before it. The sooner, the better as far as I’m concerned.

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