30 November, 2009

Plutot la vie

I wish I could find a video of the original production of Angels in American because from what I've heard they had actual gay people playing the gay characters. I'm not a stickler about this by any means; I don't think it's wrong to cast straight people to play gay people. I just think they frequently do a bad job.

So, the thing about the TV version of Angels in America, with the guy from Weeds, is that the guy from Weeds doesn't play a whole character. I will explain. The main character in Angels in America, Prior, is a stereotypically gay man. He likes cross-dressing and making campy jokes. At the same time, being stereotypically gay is not just about what you do, but who you are. I'm not an expert on being a gay man but I'm just saying that important qualities tend to be suffused throughout one's entire being.

The guy from Weeds doesn't know that, though! He only acts stereotypically gay when he's saying and doing things that explicitly require it. The rest of the time he acts stereotypically straight. Sometimes this even means reading lines that are supposed to be facetious with a completely serious face. When there are campy moments, they almost seem more dramatic than the actual dramatic moments, because they're such a change and seem to take so much effort. This is called bad acting because it's not playing a whole character. Also, it's offensive. Prior is an awesome character because his stereotypical homosexuality, which is generally associated with weakness and low moral fiber, is completely tied up in his heroism. This is revolutionary and the Weeds guy just doesn't see it; he doesn't understand how to read serious and/or heroic lines in a stereotypically gay inflection because he's still stuck on hero=straight.

I am not really making a larger point here but I just thought of this because I watched New Moon so I have Mormons on the brain. New Moon was one of the strangest movies I've ever seen and I will post about it in the near future.

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