History may be made soon here in the great state of Illinois. The Supreme Court is close to passing the bill that will allow same-sex marriage. The Internet is buzzing with support of passing the bill and thanks to George Takei’s request to have his followers change their profile pic to a red equality symbol, the social network looks like Valentine’s Day! I’m going to harness this positive energy and list my, in no particular order, top ten gay-themed films. If there are still naysayers out there, I highly recommend giving a few of these a watch. If years of evolution hasn't persuaded you, perhaps the power of cinema will!
1.) Transamerica (2005)- You should check out this flick for several reasons but if nothing else, watch it for Felicity Huffman’s performance. She’s phenomenal playing the transsexual, Bree. In other words, she plays a man who is getting ready to have vaginoplasty in order to become a woman. Simply amazing.
2.) The Birdcage (1996) - The biggest smile swept across my face while thinking how to describe this movie. This was my favorite when I was thirteen and still makes me chuckle with delight. A great plot, the comic styling of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, plus a drag club called the Birdcage! Now that’s recipe for success. Oh yeah, I almost forgot Agador Spartacus (Hank Azaria) making peasant soup!
3.) All About My Mother (1999) - This is probably one of my favorite movies of all time. Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar (Volver, Talk to Her), the film centers on Manuela (Cecilia Roth), a woman who loses her son and tries to track down his father, Lola, who is now a transgender. It’s a Spanish film and it’s subtitled. If this is the reason you don’t see this movie, I want to smack your face
4.) The Kids are Alright (2010) - It took me a couple of tries to fall in love with this movie. Wonderfully acted all around, this film shows the ups and downs of marriage when the children of a same-sex union go in search of their sperm donor. Hearing Annette Bening’s character, Nic, go on a drunken rant about heirloom tomatoes is pretty epic, too.
5.) Philadelphia (1993) - Now you know I was going to say this one, didn’t you? Homophobic Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington, agrees to take on Andrew Beckett’s (Tom Hanks) case against his law firm for wrongful termination along with pain and suffering. I’m assuming most of you at least know of this movie. It’s incredibly powerful and a must see.
6.) A Single Man (2009) - This movie is artsy-fartsy to the max and I absolutely love it. Directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, it’s as pretty and as neatly stitched as his clothing line. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore are amazing. Aren’t they always?
7.) Outrage (2009) - Very poignant documentary considering what America is going through right now. Written and directed by Kirby Dick, this film discusses closeted officials supporting anti-gay campaigns. You won’t want to stop listening. This movie is like gossip, so good!
8.) I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) - Seeing Jim Carrey play a gay man was a bit strange to me at first…especially during sex scenes. Once you get passed it, it’s actually super entertaining. Carrey plays Steven Jay Russell, a con man who falls in love with Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor) in prison. There are a few curve balls, so stay on your toes.
9.) Boys Don’t Cry (1999) - Hilary Swank won Best Actress for her portrayal as trans man, Brandon Teena. It’s based on a true story and is so unbelievably sad but totally worth it.
10.) To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995) - Yuuup! No Brokeback Mountain on this list! This movie is so bad it’s good. I dragged my cousin Nick to go see this movie when I was a tween (poor guy) and now every time it’s on HBO I watch it. Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo play drag queens! It’s a fun story, but it’s seriously so stupid.
Whelp, there you have it. These are my favorite gay-themed films. I hope equality reigns throughout Illinois and across the nation. Fingers crossed!