A 2006 movie meant to be a "gay" parody of all the various 200X teen movies. Starring amongst other people, Graham Norton as "exchange teacher" Mr. Puckov and Scott Thompson of Kids In The Hall fame as the awkward Eugene Levy father figure. And it's on Netflix. So I steel myself with a couple of shots of pear eau de vie, and press START on the remote. 

And in all fairness, I have to admit I watched maybe about 15 minutes of it. But that's really all I need to have watched to be able to comment on the film and to review it.

Any kind of media that is "X" media suffers from what I would, for the want of a better term, call "of course you'll watch this because it's media for your kind of person, so I don't have to bother trying" media. Christian media is the same way, as any young person who's had to suffer through a carelessly-knocked together and horribly twee show for the "Christian" market can attest. Seems that gayness has its fair share of dreck as well.

The plot, and I can extremely loosely define "plot" - is that four boys decide after graduation to lose their respective virginities before the end of the summer and before they all go off to college. Except that of the four gay stereotypes (jock gay, prep gay, screaming two-toned emo hair gay, and shy boy next door gay) the last is one of those "bottom"s, meaning that he does not do any pitching, but prefers to catch. As revealed by one of the film's first gags, namely him furiously anally masturbating under sheets to the thought of not-very-attractive Graham Norton as his now former teacher not-very-realistically railing him senseless. (The scene is painful to watch. Not because anal sex is particularly squicky but because Norton simulates it like he's tapping his foot annoyedly while waiting for the next bus.) In a gag straight out of Not Another Teen Movie the mother walks in and removes the sheet on his bed, revealing the contents of her refrigerator produce drawer wrapped in brown-tinged condoms, and other strange household items including needlenose pliers.

Also within the first ten minutes we're subjected to the emo boy (he's "bi" apparently)'s offensively acted blind girlfriend (from the Tom Green school of portraying the handicapped). Also a stereotypically large, fat oversexed lesbian named Muffler who is worse than a stereotypically catcalling Italian in terms of theatrically making everything into an opportunity to mime sex acts.

Neither Norton nor Thompson elevate the material here. Norton simulates sex like he's working the rest of the film - trying to get through the takes as fast and as bored as possible to get his check - and whereas Thompson does his level best to follow direction and play the embarassing father, the director's choice is truly dreadful. What made the Eugene Levy character work in American Pie was that NEITHER the son nor the father wanted to talk about the truly embarassing sex-related whatever that the latter witnessed and didn't want to, and the awkwardness of the interchange was reasonable because both were talking about it for the sake of doing so with neither side wanting any part of it. In this particular, "gay" version, the father is a closet homosexual himself who takes upon himself to respond to inadvertently finding his son with the family's cucumber up his ass by buying him a butt plug flared out to the girth of the shade on the average bedside table lamp, and standing up with an obvious erection.  This level of obsessive morbid sexual interest in the specifics of your son's sex life isn't funny, it's creepy.

Even within the first fifteen minutes, there are two horribly glaring sets of contradictions. The first is that for people who are so obviously out, flamboyantly gay and hypersexually interested in everything - the chances of them making it to graduation with no significant sexual experience is highly unlikely. It would make more sense if they were highly closeted and living in some intolerant backwater than what is clearly Gay-Friendly California.

The in-film explanation that they have been good friends forever and therefore have a "friendzone" around each other doesn't make any appreciable sense either considering that one of them goes off to the bathroom in another boy's house, snoops under the sink and finds a plug-in, vacuum suction masturbation device which he then proceeds to insert himself into and use. While the rest are all in the next room. "I won't touch you, but I'll masturbate with either you or your father's plug in sex toy, whosever it is, I don't care" makes literally no sense to pair with their otherwise prudish outlook. For the record, it obviously malfunctions, the father has to come in and smash it loose with some kind of rod-like tool, and we get to see the poor kid's penis, useless and accordion'd out to eighteen inches long. Yeah, it's that kind of movie - where personal motivations change to suit the needs of another pointless elementary schoolyard knob gag - and none of this makes any in-universe coherent sense. Continuity? What continuity? To hell with that, we have another cock joke.

The other contradiction is the idea that this movie supposedly celebrates these kids' sexualities, and yet presents them and everything around them in anvil-dense stereotypes and cliches. Boys lisp and mince. A leather-wearing "pitcher" throws the ball during a softball game to one of the four heroes, who's wearing a baseball uniform consisting of a shirt cut off below the solar plexus and tight booty shorts, on a team called the "Frisky Chickens". When he knocks the ball over the fence he doesn't run a home run, everyone does while carrying rainbow balloons and placards in an impromptu Gay Pride parade. (And we are supposed to understand that his participation in "teenage Gay Games" has netted him a baseball scholarship to college). Oh, and did I mention the loud, obnoxious big fat lesbian constantly sniffing her fingers and slapping people with a strap-on, who'd make Quagmire out of Family Guy look like Mr. Rogers?  Literally everything in this reminds me of the comedy bit in Archer where Archer, a clueless straight man - decides to go undercover as a gay man in rollerskates, bleached hair, boyshorts and a T-shirt that says "Got Dick?" while sucking a lollipop. Except that the Archer gag was meant to pastiche the clueless conclusions jumped to by a neanderthal homophobe - and this movie is supposedly by gay people for gay people about the lives of gay people. Unfortunately it turns into a puerile giggle fest that "gay people shove things up their asses and mince around like faggots, har har har". You can actually picture the director arguing to anyone who objects, "this couldn't POSSIBLY be homophobic, ALL OF US ARE GAY."

God bless Scott Thompson for at least trying - and being the "straight man" to this nonsense, playing it as deadpan and serious as a Canadian earnestly would. But it's Norton who's got the right idea, phoning it in and looking at his watch as he's mechanistically simulating sodomizing one of the young actors, clearly counting off the minutes until he can collect his check and get the hell out of there and head back to Ireland. There's an old adage that something not worth doing at all isn't worth doing properly, and Norton is the only one who seems to "get it".

Oh, and to give you an idea of the level of humor present in this God-awful film, the high school team is called the San Torum Donkeys.

Apparently this spawned a slew of like-minded sequels, and that revelation made me wonder if I should go back and see if anything past the point in which I quit in disgust actually elevates this pile of hateful, mean and gaybashing crap. Apparently it won two awards: one at an OUT-films festival for the main actor, and one for "trashiest" film. Somehow I feel like I did the right thing. I don't mind trash - John Waters is a demented genius - but it's one thing to parody America with a morbid exaggeration of people who don't really exist, and making schoolyard jokes about people who DO exist. I'm deeply offended by this. Not because I'm a Christian or a prude, but because gay people deserve better than this, especially from their own.

Oh Netflix, you DO know how to pick them.

 

 

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