Friday, January 21, 2011

Play it straight, play it gay

I went to see the movie I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. It is a gay love story between the characters played by Carrey and McGregor, and the two actors are marvelous in their portrayals. But Carrey's character is such a scoundrel and scam artist one can get annoyed with him real fast.

There has been a lot of talk in gay blogs -- inspired in part by annoying comments in Newsweek -- about how openly gay actors can't be accepted playing straight characters, while it is a laudable dramatic stretch for a straight actor to play gay. The reasoning goes that the audience would know the actor is gay and would have difficulty projecting their own romantic fantasies onto the love life of the character.

So tell me why the reverse isn't true? It was a wonderful love story. But Carrey and McGregor are firmly straight. Why should there be no problem projecting my gay fantasies onto a straight actor? And why couldn't we have gay actors in those roles?

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