I was shocked to see a ratings warning on a DVD I recently rented. It states that the movie is rated PG-13 because of "some same-sex comments." Apparently the censors think it's hazardous to the minds of children under thirteen to talk about being gay. Never mind the all the simulated sex that was going on in the movie between dancing heterosexual couples or the female character who dons a fake red penis to simulate sex acts. This movie attributes its rating to one scene where a character comes out to himself. No gay sex involved. Not even simulated gay sex in a dance. I don't even recall if he kissed his newly found boyfriend. I don't think so, but if he did it was a quick, closed-mouth job with absolutely no sizzle to it. It was all so tame and as far as I'm concerned, completely unnecessary.
These days a lot of films are tossing bones to the gay and lesbian communities by having a minor character in their otherwise mainstream movie either be gay or come out during the film. It's to the point of what I'd call "gratuitous gayness." What is truly gay (as in gay male, not lesbian) about the film is that it is: 1)a musical, 2)rife with flamboyant costumes, 3)full of half-clad dancing men, 4)centered around the dance hits of the band ABBA. Other than having real gay content, it can't get much more superficially gay than that.
But I'm a little disturbed that the movie industry is using coming-out scenes to give out PG-13 ratings. I can't imagine that if you removed this one little scene that the movie would suddenly be acceptable for all audiences, including children. It is so not a "family" or "children's" movie at all. It's all about love, marriage, and SEX, 98.6% of it heterosexual. It's clearly a movie for adults because, face it, not too many adolescents, who would be allowed to watch because they're over thirteen, would watch it because it is: 1)a musical, 2)rife with flamboyant costumes, 3)full of half-clad dancing men, 4)centered around the dance hits of the band ABBA ("Who's ABBA?"). Unless of course the adolescent is a gay male teen. In which case, he'd feel right at home.
Now I'm not saying that I didn't like the movie because I did. It's funny and campy. Watching extremely famous and talented actors pretending to be ABBA is worth the price of admission alone. The movie, which is based on the international hit musical is Mamma Mia! It stars Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Christine Baranski. So if you love watching actors get paid a bunch of money to have a blast and make fools of themselves, it's definitely worth watching at least once. If you're a gay male, you'll probably enjoy it because of the reasons listed above. For me, watching Meryl Streep acting as though her character is still the young starlet she used to be is worth it all. The lady is amazing and still in darn good shape, I'd say. Make sure you keep watching as the credits rolls and the hits continue to play. The final show is the best part of the movie, I'd say.
But for goodness sake, people, lose the stupid ratings warning about "same-sex comments." Otherwise every contemporary film should have it, and be warned that the gay and lesbian community is not amused by what is definitely an insult. Hello? You have to warn viewers when you're going to TALK about being gay? That is so lame and so bigoted. Maybe my blog should have a ratings disclaimer: "PG-13 rating due to comments about half-clad men dancing to fabulous disco music and flamboyant costumes. Sheesh. I am so ready for a post-Bush world.