A successful young L.A. doctor and his equally successful television-producer wife find their happily-ever-after life torn assunder when he suddenly confronts his long-repressed attraction ...
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Michael T. Weiss,
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A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.
A successful young L.A. doctor and his equally successful television-producer wife find their happily-ever-after life torn assunder when he suddenly confronts his long-repressed attraction for other men. Zach and Claire live a comfortable life secure in their love for one another when Bart, a swinging L.A. novelist, walks into Zach's office and awakens unfamiliar feelings in him. In a move which leaves him wracked with guilt, Zach cancels dinner with his wife in order to go out with Bart. He is inexplicably drawn to this man who seems intent on keeping him at arms distance. Why can't Bart allow their relationship to grow? he wonders. Exasperated, he asks Bart, "Do you snore? Does anybody ever get a chance to find out?" As Zach's absences become more and more frequent, Claire's concern manifests itself in the suspicion that he is having an affair with another woman. Jilted by Bart and feeling alone for the first time in his married life, Zach resolves to tell Claire the truth about ...Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I don't understand the number of reviews that refer to this movie as being "ahead of its time." The time was clearly right for this movie. By 1980 the gay and lesbian community had finally become fed up with movies portrayal of homosexuals as either the predatory lesbian or the flamboyant faggot who best case ended up alone and bitter at the end of the movie or worst case ended up dead. When scripts for "Cruising" and "Windows" were leaked to the gay and lesbian community (with their depiction of gay men and lesbians as the underbelly of society, stalkers, and murders) there were attempts to disrupt location shoots and when the movies opened there were protests and boycotts (with posters saying "Stop Cruising" and "Close Windows"). I have to believe that this sent some sort of message to the studios, because two years later, 1982, "Making Love" was released (along with "Personal Best").
Though I don't believe this movie was ahead of its time, I do believe it to be groundbreaking. Prior to 1982 positive depictions of gay men and lesbians in film were either rare, covert, or nonexistent. 1980's "Happy Birthday, Gemini" was a positive (though not really well done) coming out comedy, but completely devoid of any even remotely sexual physical contact. What made "Making Love" (and "Personal Best") unique was not just that that they dealt with gay/lesbian subject matter in a more positive way, but that the characters actually had sex. After decades of heterosexual sex being portrayed as everything from curtains blowing in the wind to anal sex with butter in "Last Tango in Paris," this was the first time homosexuality in mainstream film was anything more than theoretical (though sex between Ontkean and Hamlin was portrayed more as a rolling around wrestling match than as the title "making love").
This film is flawed, it is soap opera like and melodramatic, and the documentary style talking to the camera scenes don't really work. But, there is no denying that it is a big step forward from the films of just two years before. It is a step that got us to the point where there now are characters in film who just happen to be gay and lesbian, because in society there are people who happen to be gay and lesbian. Even though it might not be a great film, it is an important film.
A few final comments about the actors. First, I never understood the common wisdom that "playing gay" would kill a career. If "Clash of the Titans" didn't kill Harry Hamlin's career nothing could. Second, I've always been disappointed in Kate Jackson's career. She became a TV star in an era where the crossover from TV to movies was difficult. Then she was unable to do "Kramer" because of "Charlie's Angles" obligations. Then she did this movie and her performance was ignored because it's not the sort of film that the Academy is going to recognize (and ironically she would have been up against Streep had she been nominated). I wish her better things than another "Satan's School for Girls" sequel.
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