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We also got good quality movies early on. Not a lot, but enough to keep us slogging through all the mediocre stuff. The truth is most of us gay guys will watch almost anything with gay content just because it's there. Especially those of us who grew up when there was virtually nothing available showing same sex love.
If you're gay and interested in good film, there may be some titles on my list you haven't heard of. Or that you might not have thought of as gay because gay is just a part of the movie, and the movie wasn't marketed to gay audiences exclusively.
If you're straight and interested in film, consider watching some of these movies. They're good movies. Some are very gay (about gay culture) and some just happen to have gay content.
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
An Operatic take on Glam Rock
Todd Haynes puts Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyer in bed together nude. With eyeliner. What more do you need to know?
With a zillion reviews here, you already know what this is, and why people love or hate it. The scope of the film is epic, if not downright operatic. Gorgeous to look at, and fun to watch.
In a sea of showy performances, Toni Colette's gets overlooked. She does a remarkable job as the long-suffering but reasonably practical wife. Take note!
Dream Boat (2017)
bright lights not flattering
It's hard to watch a bunch of guys in elaborate party drag walking down a narrow, brightly lit cruise ship's corridor underscored by a sad, Debussy-like piano soundtrack.
There is a lot of this almost clinical detachment about what is being observed. Enough so that activities--which were probably a lot of fun for most of the participants--look sad and lonely, not to mention surreal.
I have mixed feelings about this film. The detachment is the point of view. I think it masquerades as objective, but really, it's pretty judgmental. The slow-motion camera lingers on guys who are north of 60 decked out in feathers, or leather harnesses. You see every nook and cranny in their well-worn faces; any joy the guys are feeling gets scrubbed out. Is it fair? Sure. Does it tell a story? Yes. Is it interesting, and fun to watch? Not for me.
The film centers on five guys from Europe and the Middle East, so, points for that. But. One guy is in a wheelchair, and another lives in Dubai. One guy is Palestinian now living in Belgium. The film seems to suggest that their life challenges are equivalent, at least from the perspective of being gay and fitting into the gay community. So it's hard not to feel that the filmmakers see their queerness as yet another handicap.
If you're a Stonewall-era veteran like me, you may find this film pretty rough going. And for young gay guys--well, it might make them feel like voting Republican.
Hey guys! Let's make a series! How hard could it be? Okay, full disclosure. I only watched the first episode. But even that was a struggle. When it's a gay-themed production, I'll put up with a lot of amateurism if the story is good and the dialog is sharp. And I realize a series' first episode will mostly--and necessarily--be an introduction to the cast of characters and the story. But with this, the result for me was a swift realization that I don't want to know any more about these pretend people or their pretend problems. If I'm going to watch something like this, it has to have some truth to it at some level. Trust me, there is none to be found. If you do not cringe at the performances or the dialog or the direction, well, bless your heart. And if you can refrain from judging a certain pair of eyebrows, well, you're a saint. Think of HBO's series Looking. Then imagine an imitation version as bad as it could possibly be. Voilà.
Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014)
Why this film resonates with us
Almost all of us gay guys love this movie. It's sweet without treacle, and sensitive without being patronizing.
I think it resonates with us mostly because Leo--blind AND gay--represents the isolation many of us felt when we began hoping for a love connection. When you're young and gay and haven't yet worked up the courage to tell anyone, the isolation can be overwhelming. You don't know who is or isn't like you, you can only speculate. And you can only speculate in an oblique, round-about way lest you inadvertently reveal too much about yourself. Keen observation seems an essential skill.
In this movie, poor Leo is already isolated because of his disability. And even though he has learned to navigate the physical world with confidence, the world of emotional connections is another thing altogether.
So much of the way we figure things out is visually. Surreptitious glances or prolonged eye contact become clues to help us find our way. So our hearts ache for Leo who has to figure all this out from conversations or third-hand information. He even has to ask his best friend how she rates his appearance; he has no other way to find out if he's considered attractive.
Can you imagine not checking your appearance in the mirror before you leave the house? Checking and re-checking?
This is why we love this movie. Coming out is hard enough for we the sighted, and little Leo manages it in a world of total darkness. In so doing he wins our respect AND our love.
Game of Thrones (2011)
Can you show me anything better?
That's on now? I don't think so.
I'm frequently asked--by people who haven't seen GOT and, not being into fantasy or sci-fi, are skeptical about fans' enthusiasm--"is it as good as Breaking Bad? Is it as good as The Sopranos?"
All I can say is, "It's the best thing on television now, hands down."
I'm not a big fantasy fan and I didn't know the Ice and Fire books. I started watching after season three, mainly because I wanted to know what the *$%# was this red wedding everybody was talking about?
It only took a couple episodes to realize what an amazing series it was. And of course when I did see the red wedding, I could NOT believe what had just happened.
So yes, friends, it's as good as Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. But because GOT is so much broader, GOT goes places way beyond the limitations of any gangster series, good as those were.
Quand on a 17 ans (2016)
multi-dimensional characters, never dull
For some reason I wasn't aware this was a Techine film until the credits. Then it was an a-ha moment--I should have known. Quality like this doesn't come from many other directors.
The theme and characters are echos of some in other Techine films. But this one, like his others, is fresh and original, enough so that I never made the connection.
The story is not just about a gay relationship, but that relationship is the thread that holds the story together. This film has a scarce commodity: gay characters who are multidimensional. Nothing is cut and dried between them, nothing is easy. The progression of the relationship is a struggle--literally--and it feels natural and real. To me.
If it doesn't seem real to you, chances are you're under 30 and have grown up in a progressive, first-world culture. For me, well... my college boyfriend (50+ years ago) was a hyper-masculine bisexual boxer who was angry that he was attracted to guys, and angrier still that he was in love with one. So, yeah, I could relate. I remember our bruises.
The locale, actors, cinematography, etc., all first rate. However, if you're like me you may feel you've had your fill of LGBT coming of age stories. Just know that this variation on that theme is one you're unlikely to have seen before and it's really well done.
Needs to be seen more
This short film focuses on a straight, African-American politician who pushed for marriage equality in Massachusetts, the first state in the U.S. to legalize same sex marriage.
This should have been on the list of LGBT film festivals everywhere. There is a widespread perception in the gay community that straight African-Americans as a group resented the equating of gay marriage rights with interracial marriage rights. And, that all Black American churches worked against gay marriage. This film dispels that notion. It demonstrates that African-American opposition to gay marriage--as with most Americans--was about religion, not race.
This film serves, in some respects, as a reminder that the groundbreaking change in U.S. law that began in Massachusetts needs to be not just documented but celebrated. I hope that the the filmmaker takes on that brief. The gay community world-wide could a) use the encouragement, and b) get a blueprint for how the change was made.
My Own Private River (2012)
Very interesting for Idaho fans, but could it stand alone?
This is NOT a documentary, as the longest review here suggests. Another reviewer gets it right: it's literally My Private Idaho reworked with added material that had been cut out of the original. The added footage features, primarily, River Phoenix's character, and the focus of the reworked film is on his hustler character rather than Keanu Reeve's character. Hence the title.
I call the characters by the actors' names because I can't remember their character names, and because, in the minds of many people like myself (a gay man), the two actors have become one with the roles they played. Again, hence the title.
I'm interested when films have been re-cut or reworked, so I found this fascinating. But I'm not sure anyone seeing this film without having first seen Idaho would have any clear idea of what's going on. In that context, this film feels more like a spin-off of Idaho. The sequence of events is the same, but most of Idaho's plot line has been jettisoned. We mainly see the effects of the plot on the River Phoenix character. One more time: hence the title.
So the result is, curiously, a film that has more focus than Idaho, but at the same time it's even less intelligible. I love Idaho, but let's get real: it's one messy masterpiece. Who among us (Idaho fans) has seen it only once? Idaho is one of those movies that isn't really comprehensible until you've seen the whole thing. It's the sum of its parts. So once you understand it, you want to see it again to more enjoy the parts as they add up to the sum. If that makes sense.
There seems to be more arty footage included than in Idaho. You know, shots of clouds, of skylines, or distant landscapes. But perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly. Maybe it's all in Idaho and it just isn't as noticeable as it is in this "plot-less" version. But this will give you an idea of what to expect from James Franco: Art with a capital A.
One of the best series going
I didn't feel the need to review this, with 450 plus reviews already up. It's original, thoughtful, and beautifully produced. That's all you need to know.
What I really want to comment on are the negative reviews, particularly by those who felt there's too much gay.
I'm a gay man, so the sexuality of the characters in this series seems normal to me. Realize that 98% of what I watch is mostly straight content. It's not about me but I like it when it's good. So I am highly amused that more than a few straight reviewers here could't tolerate this series for more than an episode or two purely because there was too much gay content. And for that reason they gave it one star.
Ya know what? Bye-bye. Enjoy your shows with straight characters, car chases, and explosions. I really like this show with GAY characters, car chases, and explosions.
Burning Blue (2013)
That's no indication of the sexual position preferences of the main characters, because I would have no way of knowing. This movie was so muddled and vague it wasn't even clear sex had happened until it was acknowledged in the dialog.
We know the characters are in love. That's accomplished with smoldering surreptitious glances. But that's about all you can tell from this bottom-of-the-barrel script. It's really impossible to tell what's going on. It came as a surprise to learn that the action covers about eight years. One of the characters says so. I wouldn't have known otherwise.
The plot is navy pilots vying for some prestigious assignment. Things go wrong. Eventually NCIS suspects planes crashed because pilots had gay feelings. No, really--that's it.
The last quarter of the movie is more direct, focusing on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell idiocy. But it's pretty heavy handed. I almost expected one of the accusers to twirl a mustache, like the villain in a Dudley DoRight cartoon.
I wanted to like this movie, in fact I liked the characters and the setting. But it's really only watchable if you don't care about things like continuity or logic.
Like You Mean It (2015)
More to this than meets the eye
This is one of those movies that isn't going to spoon feed you the plot. You just have to experience what's happening, what's going on.
And at first there doesn't seem to be much going on. After a while we know we're seeing the dynamics of a couple who are at the beginning of a breakup.
But that's what's on the surface. Beneath the surface, this is really a portrait of an actor. A family event triggers self-examination that makes him aware that he's been acting his way through life. He does it so well he's not always aware of what he's doing. Clearly, though, he's disassociated himself from significant and important parts of his life, including the relationship that is beginning to unravel.
I liked this movie. It's for adults. That the couple in question is gay is a bonus because most of what's made for our market is pretty cartoon-like. Pseudo rom-coms or overwrought tragedies. This is more like real life, even though the two main characters lead a somewhat more exotic life than most of us do. But it's a nice change of pace. It's not in the same league as Weekend or Futuro Beach, but it's not that far behind.
Give it a chance.
Phantom Images (2011)
Fragmentary and Inconclusive
The dialog is interesting, though the narration is flowery. There are some genuinely interesting interactions going on, though the pacing and organization of thoughts/scenes is so fragmented it never added up to anything for me.
This feels like a filmed play. There's an attempt to explain this--rehearsals for a movie that will never be filmed--but it feels like a cop out. It would have been more interesting to see these characters in context, not just sitting in two chairs at a table on a bare stage. Or endless variations thereof.
This film--as with actual filmed plays--is pretty talky. What action there is feels and looks like play acting, particularly because the sense of a largely empty stage is omnipresent. I'm not sure if I was supposed to be watching actors rehearsing a scene of if I was watching a materialization of the narrator/author's imagination. Or a combination of both.
Now this lack of clarity might be seen as a good thing. Or not. Depending upon your tolerance for ambiguity. What might be of interest to some are discussions of the rift between generations of gay men, and the difficulty for some black men to define their role in life.
I have mixed feelings about the movie. It's definitely ambitious, but it verges on the pretentious. I have no doubt that the author is trying to say something significant, but the message has been obscured by what is really just lazy movie-making. Show it. Don't just say it.
Perfect Cowboy (2014)
Didn't expect to like this but I did
I know that's a backhanded compliment, but it's true. A gay-themed movie in a rural setting with a country western soundtrack would normally have me running in the opposite direction. Not so with this movie.
I found the story to be fresh and original, with just an occasional plot misstep. There's a little bit of bible-thumping, but it's almost necessary to remind us of the setting, because these characters and their story are pretty modern.
The direction, performers, and camera work are all fine and the dialog sounds natural. And, given that it's a low-budget gay movie--and that I don't particularly care for the country western genre--my expectations for the music were pretty low. I was surprised to find I liked it. And it's well integrated with the story.
This isn't a great film, but it's good. Or, maybe, good enough. That is, if it were about a straight couple, I'm not sure that many would find it special. But because it's a gay couple, it's of interest to me. As far as I know it's not quite like any other gay movie, and it's done pretty well.
So I say give it a chance. And if you feel more in sync with rural life than urban, you might really like it.
Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
Here's the problem
The premise is a good one. As others have noted, it's Desperate Housewives meets Generic Zombie Show.
However, so far, I've only been able to get through two episodes. Here's why. The script probably reads okay, but the direction is off. We see the actors pause after their lines, as if they were performing on stage and waiting for the audience to laugh. This doesn't work in film/video. And this stilted pacing makes the dialog seem unnatural.
They're playing this for laughs. Comedy works better when it's pretending to be serious. Desperate Housewives is a good example. Or 30 Rock, where the dialog moves so fast you can hardly react to one joke before there's another. Plus, the writing on 30 Rock was brilliant, sharp, and witty. Not so with Santa Clarita. Someone thought the premise was funny enough so the dialog is pretty bland.
That's often the case with shows targeted to kids and teens, dialog that's easy to hear and understand. Maybe that's the intention here. If so, fine. But if you're an adult you'll want more. If you want zombies and laughs, I recommend Z Nation. It's cheesy and good. Good enough for George R. R. Martin to do a cameo. And a funny cameo at that.
Medici: Masters of Florence (2016)
Pretty, but the dialog is lame
Yes, it's beautiful to look at, and the story is mildly interesting. But the dialog is pretty awful. There's hardly a line spoken that isn't loaded with exposition. That is, the characters say things to each other that sums up what's going on. As if they didn't know. They would know, it's History 301. It's the viewer who might not know, and it's a lazy way to tell a story.
The story jumps back and forth in time, but it's not immediately obvious that's what's happening. The cues are greying hair and grown up children. But it's barely enough. The story is so poorly told that if there weren't visual cues, you wouldn't know what was going on.
Dustin Hoffman plays the patriarch. For some reason, he seems to be speaking his lines like a character in a dubbed Italian gladiator picture. It's really bizarre. It was so strange I thought maybe he was editorializing on the quality of the dialog. Maybe he was. Later in the series, hints of a Bronx accept creep in.
If you like costume dramas, you may be fine with this. But don't expect first rate quality.
King Jack (2015)
Nothing to redeem it
I went into this expecting something really good from the high Netflix rating. What a disappointment. This might be a realistic-looking slice of life, but we don't experience much that is truly original or valuable. It's kid-on-kid violence (emotional and physical) and not much more.
Life can be brutal but I don't particularly want to watch it, unless, of course, it's great art. The Japanese masterpiece The Human Condition (Ningen el Joken) is a trilogy of films that depicts the worst aspects of human brutality, but you can take it because you are also aware that you're experiencing something profound. With King Jack I watched a kid get bullied and then finally learn to "take it like a man." It's trite and frankly a little disgusting.
The film wants to impart a message of some kind. I think the scene at the very end is supposed to be seen as a happy ending. We're to believe Jack has evolved emotionally and overcome--or started to overcome--unbelievable obstacles in his life. It feels flimsy and tacked on and I didn't buy it.
I understand why many people liked this film. It has a seductive quality, the actors are good, and the action looks real. And it's pitched as an art movie. But it isn't a good one. If you were sucker punched into liking this movie, I can only suggest you expand your cinematic horizons to find out how much you've been missing.
Sleeping with Other People (2015)
Smart Rom Com, two things that don't often go together
I'm a little surprised at all the negative reviews here. It's hard to imagine what the reviewers found missing. Romance? Comedy? Or both? Because I found plenty of each. I will say that I can see how you need to be able to relate to the lifestyles depicted to appreciate the film. Because if you can't, this might as well be about life on Mars.
This is a smart movie. And the concept is pretty original, considering the difficulty of deviating from the restrictions of the genre. The leads are immensely likable and each able to toss off complex comedic riffs with ease. And I very much enjoyed seeing Adam Scott play the heavy. Not easy to portray a dull-as-donuts bad guy, but he pulled it off.
Despite the "truthiness" of the dialog, the movie does share one thing with all romantic comedies: it's a wet dream for the love hungry. Especially for those folks who juggle and struggle with the reality of modern relationships. The lead characters wear a veneer of cynical sophistication that many of us use as protective shields. But, as is expected from a rom-com, the veneer cracks. And we're glad when it does.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, but be warned: it is a movie for grown ups.
Difficult People (2015)
Not for the slow-witted or pop culturally illiterate
This is a show for a very narrow demographic. The range of pop culture put downs is vast. It's hard to imagine anyone but gay, full-time couch potatoes understanding all of it. I come close to that category, but I'm old. Younger versions of me will probably get more of it. And, you've got to be quick to even take it all in. The show may be just a so-so framework for a barrage of rat-a-tat-tat jokes, but oh, what jokes!
The lines are tossed off so fast and are so all-over-the-place topically they barely register. If you waste time laughing, you'll miss the next joke. Not many shows can work in a line like "If I've learned anything, it's that there are limits to even what Viola Davis can make plausible." Now, for me, that's funny. And it's funny because it's true. But I can easily understand that a lot of people would be baffled. Not only do you have to know who Viola Davis is, you have to have seen enough of her work to know that she's been in some real turkeys.
I especially like some of the side players, truly original characters we haven't seen before. E.g., the transgender server who's a 911 conspiracy theory nut. When she says to a co-worker, "I wish you'd been on Flight 93," it's stunning. I'm not sure what my reaction was. Did I laugh because it was funny, or was I just astonished by the anything-is-fair-game attitude? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care. I was entertained, and in the broadest sense of the word.
You may hate the characters, and you may not like their constantly snarky attitude. But you have to admire how they can simultaneously celebrate and fearlessly skewer the values American pop culture has engendered in us all.
Better than expected.
It's a two-character gay road trip movie. Couple that with a "coming of age" story and a character who videotapes all the time and you've got a recipe for a big bag of clichés.
Amazingly, this film managed to hold my interest, despite my lowered expectations, and despite very prosaic material. I can't tell you how many times I thought, okay, I've seen enough. But I stuck with it until the end. I think the movie works in spite of itself. While the boys do not take peyote, they are certainly tripping.
One interesting factoid in the dialog reveals that a prominent figure in the Mexican revolution was gay. The boy who tells this also says, this is not something that got into the history books. And he would be right, so far as I know. I was all over the internet trying to confirm; I couldn't. But I found out a lot of very interesting stuff about this man that I would never have known about otherwise. I'm not Mexican, but I went to university in Mexico, so this was fascinating to me.
Can I recommend this movie? Not really. Unless you want to see how this director overcame some of the limitations that come with a two-character, low budget, road trip movie. I think Spanish-speakers may have a better appreciation for the film. As is often the case, the subtitles don't do justice to the actual dialog.
Holding the Man (2015)
Not easily done...
...showing the story of two teenagers through to their early 30s. Both the book and movie were unknown to me, so I came at this without expectations. This movie succeeds with material that is very familiar--if not overly familiar--to gay men like myself. That in itself is quite an accomplishment.
What starts out as a simplistic story of high school romance becomes an epic tale spun out for 127 minutes. I was surprised by the honesty of the story, and surprised that the two lead actors could seamlessly--and convincingly--go from teenagers to adults. It is not easy to take everyday events and stitch them up into an epic. This movie does that, and it does it well.
If I had known the plot in advance, I probably wouldn't have gone near this film with a 10-foot pole. I'm glad I didn't know because I would have missed a really good movie.
If you're young and gay and want to get an accurate look at what life was like for us in the '70s and '80s, this is the movie to see. For Americans, that it's set in Australia is irrelevant; the story was the same.
Uneven but Watchable
I think the younger you are (if you're gay) the more this will resonate with you. The writing is uneven, but the starting premise is interesting. It's infidelity but not just simple infidelity. And the production values and photography are both fine.
Overall, the gay characters are better done than the straight characters. The gay characters are more underwritten, e.g., the actors communicated with their faces/bodies a lot, which is a good thing; it wasn't so dialog driven. The straight characters on the other hand seemed overwritten and, frankly, unconvincing.
As the episodes progress, some of the coincidences are a bit much. And the way people relate to each other doesn't always seem real. A lot of the time it does, but a lot of the time it doesn't.
For those of you with a lot more life experience this will be harder to take. For example, the art gallery/art world shown is like somebody's idea of what that world is like, rather than what it's really like. That's true for a lot of things, including some relationships. However, most of the gay hook ups/relationships were plausible to me because, well, been there done that.
Still, I found this very watchable, even though I knew the quality was just above average. But like I say, the younger you are, the more likely you will be to enjoy it.
Beautiful and Soulful
This is a series of connected stories, the tail end of one becoming the beginning of the next. The series is in Hindi with occasional English words and phrases.
The stories seem to take place in the 1950s, that is the look and feeling conveyed. Many of the stories have extended flashbacks to earlier times. The photography is beautiful and the locales fascinating.
But it is the soulful stories that will grip you. They're deeply reflective of the culture. The complexities of arranged marriages and familial situations feel authentic and original to this Westerner's eye. Music is an integral part of many of the stories, and it's wonderfully done. Characters sing to one another, with lyrics that obliquely refer to the person they're singing to. This is especially effective when the two people are in love but are for one reason or another unable to be together.
How Americans will take to this is not easy to predict. This is not a Merchant Ivory film, that is, one targeted to American and European audiences. But the production values are just as good and if you allow yourself to go with the flow, you may find this as charming as I do.
Doctor Thorne (2016)
Visiting Barsetshire with Anthony Fellowes
Anthony Trollope's novels have been mined for TV productions for decades, so we shouldn't be surprised that Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes decided to take a crack at one. And he does rather well. Here's hoping he'll serialize Trollope's remaining Barsetshire books.
For readers of Trollope's novels (as with Jane Austen's) it can be a bit of a shock to see them somewhat sensationalized and in a necessarily condensed format. But the needs of present day audiences require it. Consequently, though, the result is often a sort of high-brow soap opera and Fellowes' Dr. Thorne is no exception.
However, the production is pretty, and the characterization right on point, if a bit over the top. Though for me, Ian McShane breathed life and depth into Trollope's somewhat one-dimensional Mr. Scatcherd. Alison Brie does the same for another Victorian cliché: the American heiress in search of a titled husband. With an ever-present smile, she makes Miss Dunstable's gently spoken directness seem downright raunchy. It's a delight to watch.
Why bother saying more. If you like the Downton Abbey genre, you are going to see this and you are going to like it. End of story.
All the Way (2016)
What's valuable about this
...is that it shines a light on LBJ's very significant accomplishments (civil rights, voting rights, Medicare, Medicaid) which were largely wiped from my generation's collective consciousness. This film ends with Johnson's sweeping election victory in 1964, but by 1968 he became one of the most despised presidents in history for his escalation of the war in Vietnam.
For those of us who lived through this era, this sort of biopic is a hard sell. We remember all too vividly the reality of Johnson, Humphrey, King, and all the rest. It's petty to remark that Dr. King didn't have the movie star looks of Anthony Mackie. Or that Hubert Humphrey was a lot plumper than Bradley Whitford, and his high pitched staccato speaking voice beyond Whitford's reach. Other characters are done either spot on or way off. I suppose no one could capture the essence of Sen. Dirksen without coming dangerously close to Foghorn Leghorn. But Bob McNamara looks right, and the always reliable Stephen Root brings the right manic intensity to his J. Edgar Hoover.
Ultimately it's Bryan Cranston who makes the sell. He's utterly convincing. We feel we're seeing LBJ on screen. Only occasionally does the facade crack to show the actor underneath. But for the most part it's uncanny--if not a little eerie--how accurately he portrays Johnson.
The script is about what you expect for a biopic. The kind of exposition necessary to explain who is who and what is what. It's tiresome for those of us who lived through it, but a necessary evil I suppose for anyone under age fifty. And for those under thirty who seem to have got a college degree without knowing much about anything, this will be a useful primer on the early 60s.
Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016)
If you're looking for logic or PC, go elsewhere. This is funny. End of story.
Go ahead, critics, compare it to his other movies, better, worse, equal to etc. He's aged, he hasn't aged. Who cares? This is a movie unto itself. None of what the oldsters are talking about is at all relevant to a kid seeing or hearing PeeWee for the first time. This movie can stand alone.
I don't laugh out loud much at movies. Nothing is really that funny for me. This--I laughed out loud over and over. Sitting here all by myself. Laughing. You can't help it. It's so wonderfully absurd and silly.
The casting, the performances, and the art direction are near flawless. There's nary a false note anywhere, down to the smallest detail. And it's really, really funny.
I defy anybody not to laugh when PeeWee mangles his movie star friend's last name. Or meets the farmer's daughters. Or ends up in a mobile hair salon. I'm sorry. If you don't laugh at this stuff, you're dead inside.