There's an article going around about the 'Gay Twist on Sherlock Holmes
' and while it earned a giggle from me at first, something has been bothering me about it all day1
...Michael Medved, a former Post movie critic, says Downey and Law must be joking. "There's not a seething, bubbling hunger to see straight stars impersonating homosexuals," Medved told us. "I think they're just trying to generate controversy . . . They know that making Holmes and Watson homosexual will take away two-thirds of their box office. Who is going to want to see Downey Jr. and Law make out? I don't think it would be appealing to women. Straight men don't want to see it."
I'm not sure where to start with this. There's the fangirl reaction which involves a lot of squealing and thinking that man, that's hot. Then there's being offended at the pigeonholing of female sexuality that happened so easily there. Woman must not like that sort of thing? Has anyone noticed how many straight (and actually, not-so-straight) women are very very intrigued by things like Adam Lambert's hips, or homo-erotic fiction? Or the proliferation of things like slash-fiction on the internet.
But wait for a moment. Let us take this out of the realms of fandom, and fic. How about the fact that bastions of supposedly straight and conservative women like Young and the Restless have featured storylines involving gay teens dating and *gasp* kissing, earning the show some of it's highest rating in a very long time. It was more about the relationship than the simple appeal, but those two boys being attractive wasn't a detriment. Things like this are apparently also forgotten.
Moving on from there, is the unspoken assumption that it's going to somehow be some sort of orgy filled snogfest. That the story won't be interesting or compelling enough that any homo-eroticism in their relationship, overt or covert, would be the focus. It's Sherlock Bloody Holmes, for god's sake, and Guy Ritchie. I mean, I was already going to give it a go.
Then is the assertion that the actors and director mistakenly think there's some sort of clamoring to see straight stars impersonating homosexuals
. Whilst I won't even touch on fandom here, I will say that isn't that part of what acting is about? Being something that you aren't to tell a story? Every day people pretend to be straight or gay, victim or bully, jewish or christian, when their own lives might not reflect this at all. The studio and director made the choice to go for two big name actors. If they'd wanted Sherlock to wear an eyepatch, speak in a norweigan accent and hop around on one leg all whilst bemoaning his traumatic childhood, RDJ would have.
There doesn't need to be a seething, bubbling hunger
, there simply needs to be a way to make it fit in with the story Ritchie is trying to tell. I would have said there wasn't a seething, bubbling hunger to see a show about polygamists either, but look at Big Love, and how successful its been for HBO.
There is some baffling about the statement that 'They know that making Holmes and Watson homosexual will take away two-thirds of their box office'.
Do they really? All straight men will forgo seeing this? That's a fairly broad, homophobic and sexist assumption. Do those straight men also wear anti-gay wards, to keep away those pesky gay germs that might infect them? What about gay men and women? Are they considered? Or the straight woman that do want to see them make out, or even don't care one way or another?
Finally, it's a bit insulting to those of us who actually want to see the movie because it looks, if nothing else, intriguing. Those of us that like or love Sherlock Holmes and are curious about this re-imagining. Yes, some of us are maybe preparing to be horrified, but it's there. The people who are Guy Ritchie fans, or Law and RDJ fans, and would doubtless go to see any movie they were in (please remember, I have Heart and Souls on my computer. Don't judge me, I beg of you). Or those who simply want to see one of the highly touted movies of next year, and don't care one way or the other as to the romantic inclinations of two men.
I do wonder about quotes like that. I realise they are in part ot stir up controversy, and in that they succeed. But I wonder how any sane person can make such a statement, and on the record.1 No, it's not the differentiation between gay and homo-erotic, that's a rant left for birkentree to make