This is a movie about two men who love each other. My brother openly admits that he loves his best friend since high school; both men are straight, married, and have not had sex with each other (that I know of). And even if they had, that would not make them gay. If this is a movie about sex, well I already own seven movies with cowboys having sex, and none of them was nominated for an Oscar (and who out there doesn't expect a porno called "Bareback Mountain"?)
But then, what defines a person's sexuality is as touchy as defining sex itself. For some people, kissing is considered sex, while others think penetration must happen before it can be called sex. My thought definition of sex is "ejaculation with participation" (a handjob without a climax is nothing more than a massage, really). Some say both people have to climax, some say just one. It just depends on your own defintion. Like pornography: "I can't define it but I know it when I see it".
I know the argument already - these two characters in this movie are in love with each other - that's supposed to be the difference. But as I have stated here before, I think we love everyone in our lives the same amount - we just prefer to be with some people more than others. The more time we spend with someone, the more we self-hypnotize ourselves into loving one person more than another.
I've been in a few relationships with men. Did I love them? Yes, and I still do. All of them, even way back to Ex#1, which was in 1988. And even if weeks, months, or years go by between conversations, I would still drop what I was doing to help them all out. These are men I will love the rest of my life. Lifelong love - isn't that Brokeback's theme? Those characters only had it once. And so far, I had it at least 5 times. Someone write a short story about me!
Don't get me wrong, I am all for this film. I think it needs to be made, because the only way the world will be ready for it is to see it over and over again. I wish, however, that the characters were gay and not straight and married. My fear is that because the relationship in the film/book began so innocently, straight men all over the world are going to be collectively yelling, "What the fuck???"
This movie might help validate the feelings of those gay men who had difficulty coming to terms with being gay. Perhaps it will be good for them to see that other men struggle with the decision to fall in love with another man. I didn't have that trouble, personally. One morning, at 20 years old, I woke up next to my best friend at the time and thought, "Huh. Whaddyaknow?"Michael Medved was on "Paula Zahn Now" last week arguing that this movie is horrible because these men are nothing more than adulterers, it promotes the gay agenda to destroy traditional marriage, and that the characters should not be glorified or honored.
Remember Gladiator, a story about a man who killed others just for the sport of it? It won an Oscar for Best Picture in 2000. Denzel Washington's character in Trading Day was hardly respectable, but he won an Oscar in 2001. And there's more - based on characters who are far worse than mere adulterers. Maybe we should all just be cowboys now. Perhaps the gay population should actually embrace the NRA. Give the Mo's some guns and let them kill people just for the sport of it, just like Maximus did. Maybe then we will be respected and adored and be given some awards.
But Brokeback is about love, not death. The cowboys don't kill anyone or each other. They represent what real gay men and women experience all over the world every day - fear of ridicule and hate only because of who we love. And just like real people, these cowboy characters are already hated by some of the movie-going public because of what they do and not who they are. Is America ready for this? Probably not. But it's got to start sometime.