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The troublesome charm of gay desire
on 25 June 2012
This Film is as simple as it can and should be. The situation is becoming more and more common. A teenager, a junior in his high school, discovers little by little he is attracted to men. He has a girl friend who would like the relation to go all the way, but he does not bring it there which makes him start wondering.
Then he is thrown into the gay world by accident, the way most things happen in life. His first man is a sweet and maybe slightly weak predator, a senior in his high school, and a colleague at his summer workplace. The young junior falls and the senior goes to college in September. Eric will have to live alone with his recollection, his desire and the demand from his mother and society to have a normal life with a girl friend and all the rest that goes along with it. Maggie will play what she still does not know is a game.
Then all that happens is accidental till it becomes a real choice. Later he will run away from a straight party when he is called a queer because he dances in a rather exuberant way. He goes to a gay night club or bar where he meets someone. The next stage later on will be to run after his first male lover and to get it finished physically and emotionally: right through to the end of the physical act and to the final closure of the emotional experience.
Then he will try to go back to a normal straight life and have a night with his girl friend, Maggie. But in the morning he will feel no satisfaction, no fulfilment. He will know then lying is no solution and he will move towards telling his mother and then going back to where he finds his full both physical and emotional nourishment.
The film is then interesting because it describes the slow change that occurs in Eric with total sympathy and even empathy. Eric is living what practically all human beings have lived or deserve living: the slow awakening of desire and search for satisfaction of that desire, the desire to be appealing to someone else, the desire to answer to the ones who are appealing to him, the desire to feel happy and satisfied when he meets with that mutual appeal which is first of all a strong emotion that becomes a passion. Then the physical act is like natural.
This is not typical of gay men, but any man feels that transformation no matter who is the object of the nascent passion. I guess it is also the same thing for women though the film does not insist on the case of the Lesbian friend of Eric's and only shows the deception and frustration of Maggie when she realizes her appeal has been hijacked by Eric.
This film insists on the role of the mother that moves from open hostility to acceptance without the know-how required by such a disquieting situation. If the mother accepts her son's choice, she will have to defend him and it when confronted to the dubitative hostility of other parents, not to speak of the open hostility of other teenagers, some school officials, PTA members, church representatives, etc.
A good film on the problem and necessity to come out as soon as the appeal starts moving in you, though you need a confident, an accomplice, someone who understands and supports you in that transformation. Coming out is hard.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU