Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All Films Are NOT Created Equal

     Well, with the recent legalization of Same Sex Marriage in New York, this post could go the cliché route and discuss how this is a huge step forward in the ongoing fight for gay rights, and it is. However, in an attempt to be somewhat unique, this particular post will discuss an issue that may be considered overlooked in the LGBT community. In today's society, Drama/Romance films such as: The Notebook, The Last Song, and Beastly typically have the cookie-cutter storybook endings in which boy meets girl, falls in love, rides off into the sunset, and lives happily ever after; where as a very large percentage of LGBT films of the same genre, such as Brokeback Mountain, do not seem to have such happy endings. Since there have been few mainstream American LGBT films of this particular genre in recent years, I took it upon myself to research other LGBT based films in other countries.
     After watching several films of this particular genre, I noticed that at the end of nearly all of them, the main couple never gets their "happy ending," because at least one of the two either dies of mysterious causes or is abruptly murdered in a senseless act of violence. The primary issue with these films is the fact that it seems as though by ending most LGBT films in some variation of death, they in turn send an extremely negative message to the LGBT community essentially giving them the impression that they can and will never lead a happy and fulfilling life. Though it is true that the LGBT community has come a very long way in the fight for equality, society's view on the homosexual lifestyle is still heavily influenced by how gays are depicted on both television and film in a somewhat stereotypical fashion. As a film director, an individual has the power to manipulate its audience into thinking and believing whatever he/she wants others to believe. The average Drama/Romance film is idealized in a way that makes its audience believe that they themselves can one day fall in love and have the cookie-cutter happy ending.
     Point being, although death is a realistic and natural part of life, not every LGBT film has to end in death; especially since the majority of Drama/Romance films that feature heterosexual couples do not, despite the unfortunate fact that every individual is susceptible to an untimely death. It would be quite refreshing to watch more LGBT films where the main couple actually lives to bask in their love for one another instead of having their happiness abruptly shredded by the cold, unforgiving hand of death.  There are many individuals who would strongly take offense to the subliminal message in many LGBT films of this genre that same sex relationships are not meant to last. If the idea that same sex couples are not meant to be together were a proven fact, there would be no possible way to ignore the fact that at least 50% of all marriages (not "Civil Unions") in America end in divorce, meaning that directors would have to incorporate that legitimate statistic in films featuring heterosexual couples.