This stuff doesn?t go over well with most Americans. Frankly, we don?t want to hear about it, and we?re definitely not going to pay money to see it. Critics love films with homosexuality, but very few of those films go on to see great popular success. Since 1994, 17 actors and actresses have been nominated for Academy Awards for playing gay characters; meanwhile, every movie nominated for an Oscar since 1994 containing substantial homosexuality has fallen well-below the $100 million mark, except for ?As Good As It Gets? and ?American Beauty,? both of which were fueled by Oscar hype.
You can sense how much the critics wanted to love ?Alexander,? too, primarily for its exploration of bisexuality, despite the fact that the movie is simply awful. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times ripped into the film, but praised Stone?s portrayal of Alexander?s homosexual tendencies: ?There are moments in ?Alexander? that show Mr. Stone in fine form, including . . . the aching tenderness between the ruler and his longtime lover, Hephaistion . . .?
Meanwhile, most of the critics complained that ?Alexander? failed because it didn?t do enough with Alexander?s sexuality. Desson Thomas of the Washington Post complains that ?Alexander's homosexual side is only bashfully explored . . . . There are no thighs, just whispers.? Likewise, Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe writes, ?The nervous handling of the important relationship [between Alexander and Hephaiston] lays an absurd emotional dead spot over the picture's overblown finale.?
Unfortunately for the critics ? and Stone -- the cultural pendulum has begun to swing toward traditional morality again. The five films that beat ?Alexander? to a pulp were: ?National Treasure,? ?The Incredibles,? ?Christmas With The Kranks,? ?The Polar Express,? and ?The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.? These films were rated, respectively, PG, PG, PG, G and PG.
These are all family friendly fare. That?s what Americans want to see nowadays. That?s why Sharon Stone whined that social conservatism prevented the filmmakers from approving a lesbian kiss between her and Halle Berry in ?Catwoman?: ?Halle?s so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. I said, ?How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? It's such a waste.? But that?s what you get for having George Bush as president.? That?s why Wayne Llewellyn, president of distribution at Paramount, blamed ?Alfie??s flop on President Bush?s re-election: ?It seems to be the result of the election. Maybe they didn't want to see a guy that slept around.?
With the shift in social values currently underway, here are a few predictions: ?Brokeback Mountain?(2005), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as gay cowboys, will be a critical favorite but a box office dud. So will ?Brideshead Revisited?(2005) starring Jude Law and Paul Bettany as love interests. Meanwhile, anything Pixar puts out will do big business. Note to Hollywood: welcome to the backlash you inspired. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!