Monday, November 17, 2008

Canada, hockey, and sexuality: What a movie!

I had heard about this movie that was going to be about a gay NHL player so long ago I practically forgot about it. Okay, I did forget about it--until last week when I got an email (see, sometimes being on listservs really does pay off!) saying that Breakfast with Scot was screening in my area on Saturday.
But it's no wonder I had forgotten about it. I blogged about the production, which had just started, two years ago. Here's some of what I said then: do we even know the film will do a good job in its treatment of homosexuality? Will it rely on stereotypes and poor parodies? Will it do enough and do well enough to actually engender changes in opinion?
I can be pretty harsh (shocker, I know) on media generally and movies in particular about their treatments of homosexuality. And so I was pleasantly surprised to leave the screening Saturday evening saying "yeah, that was a good movie." And then I wondered if I wasn't being too uncritical or in some kind of odd happy mood, or just really hungry and anxious about getting consensus for a dinner plan. So I stopped and thought about it a little more.
And, yes, it was a good movie. I didn't find it stereotypical. I thought it truly represented a range of gay people and dealt with issues of gender identification. I was not jarred by the change in attitude of the main character about his own sexuality or that of the child he winds up parenting. I have found other movies far more reductionist in their treatment of how a child just lights up one's life. I found the reluctance and ambivalence about parenting a non-relative, gender-bending child refreshing. And sure there was a happy ending with few loose endings but I didn't have expectations of anything else, so I was not disappointed.
There are sooooo many bad gay movies out there. I think many of us have come to expect mediocrity, that our standards have been lowered. But this was a good movie--by most standards. So if it comes to your neck of the woods--see it.

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