I like gay-themed movies, books, tv-shows etc. I like seeing characters who represent me. That would be a no-brainer I guess if ya think about it, like likes like. That said, I’ve been disappointed for years with many of the gay-themed entertainment options. A lot of the books are basically soft-core porn. Sorting thru all the crap to find the real gems is not an easy task. Amazon should cut me a check for all the crappy ebooks I’ve had to sort thru. The movies aren’t much better. At least on Netflix I’m not losing money. lol And to be fair, there are some great gay-themed books and movies out there, even iconic ones. Sadly, they are the exception vs the rule. What is our fascination w/being werewolves and vampires btw? Seriously, like 50% of all the gay-themed scifi/horror books follow this format.
Anyway, I’d heard about the movie BearCity being produced and released awhile back. Even better, I heard some really positive reviews on it. I queued it up on my Netflix and had a chance to watch it the other day. I can honestly say the bears are officially mainstream. And by that, I mean they now have their very own overly contrived movie(s) that smashes would-be heart-warming scenes with the hammer of constant self-reinforcing stereotypes. God what a mess, where do I even begin?
The movie boils down to three plots.
Plot #1: Opens with a cute thin guy who is an aspiring actor and closeted bear-lover. Said guy falls for the popular fuzzy muscle bear who basically spends 90% of the movie bouncing from hookup to hookup all the while dishing the guy until finally he “falls” for him in the end.
Plot #2: Involves a very overweight bear and his cute muscle cub. The large bear is considering a gastro bypass to bring his weight down to help with getting a job. The cub and his friends are all adamantly against it.
Plot #3: A couple explores ‘opening‘ their relationship.
Before I continue with my very unhappy review, let me first say there are several funny scenes in the movie. IMO, the two best characters were the nellie gay boy (the original roomie of the bear-lover from Plot #1) and the large bear from Plot #2. They stole the movie. Moving on…
Plot #1 tries hard to make you believe the hot bear has suddenly changed his ways (at the very end) and falls madly in-love with his chaser. This whole story was so contrived and fake as to be laughable. And the overt stereotyping from this plot made my skin crawl. I almost turned the movie off several times while this story unfolded.
Plot #2 really upset me because the implied message was don’t worry about how overweight your are, just be happy with yourself. Normally that would be a great message for self-respect and self-esteem. The problem here is the large bear was not just a little overweight he was grossly overweight. The type of 100+ lbs overweight that significantly shortens one’s life span. This whole storyline pissed me off because it masqueraded as a message of being ‘accepting of yourself.‘ There is a very important distinction between being accepting of one’s flaws and taking no responsibility for your bad habits/behavior. This plot could have saved the movie had it not been so extreme.
Plot #3 jumpstarts when the older bear in the couple gets the hots for the thin bear-chaser guy from Plot #1. The bear-chaser ends up being their roommate.1 Toward the end of the movie, they do finally agree to open up their relationship. A couple abstract sex scenes later, you see both of them getting high and showing more emotion while high than at any point in the whole movie. I still don’t quite understand the point of this particular storyline. The only implication I could find was ‘to be happy, we have to be high,’ which is pathetic IMHO.
The entire movie gave the impression that being a bear (or wanting to date one) was the characters only lot in life. And I think this is what rubbed me wrong the most. Of course, it isn’t much different from many other gay movies out there so I am not singling this particular movie out. And lord knows I’m not bashing bears, I’m more of a bear than not. So yeah, I thought it sucked. Maybe it was my own fault for getting my hopes up. I was expecting something more after all the reviews I’ve heard so far. Needless to say, I won’t be watching the second one.
- Yes, I know it all sounds very lesbianish. lol [↩]