Posted by: fudgie99 | June 24, 2009

It’s in the Water

its_in_the_water6Why, oh why, do I enjoy watching this movie? It’s rating will hardly reflect the fact that I’ve seen it at least three times.

It takes place in a made up town in Texas, where cars sport bumper stickers like “Rush is right” and “Gun control means using both hands.” Then we see legs- feminine legs, sexy legs, leggy legs. What is it about those legs that I keep watching this movie?

The “legs” belong to Alex, a rich society lady married to a lawyer belonging to a do-gooder rich association only called “the league”. Their new project is to volunteer to help  in an AIDS hospice center. This is where the outrageous homophobic and ignorant comments start up- and continue for the rest of the movie. The women are appalled, insist on wearing gloves and not touching anybody. All, except Alex, who is friends with one of the residents at the hospice and his boyfriend- much to the dismay of her mother and husband. While there she runs into her best friend from high school, Grace, who had left town after high school knocked up and married a drunk who beat the sh*t out of her.

Alex’s mother overacts to the point where it strains credulity. She says things like “her brother is a homosexual, he probably has AIDS too.” Maybe in my New England bubble I’m missing out on all the dumb f*cks who still associate homosexuality and AIDS, but it seems so 1980’s.

Anyhoo, moving on, there’s a big ball where Spencer tells an old woman that he’s gay from the drinking water. This puts the podunk town in a frenzy buying bottled water by the case. (Why do I like this movie?) Every single gay male represented, except for the two main stars (not Spencer and his boyfriend) are so flamingly and effeminately betrayed as to be wholly unbelievable. Yes, some gay men are like that- but all but two? Hard to believe. Oh, and the servants are largely portrayed by black people, saying things like “Yes maam, how ’bout I fix you a BLT?” Really? This movie was made in the 90’s, come on.

There’s a secondary story about Mark, a journalist in the town, who struggles with being gay. He attends the churches “Homo No Mo” group to degay. He meets a sober alcoholic who mistakenly stumbled into the meeting but is out and proud and they start dating. He stops being ashamed of who he is and starts letting others know there’s nothing wrong with it either. Welcome to the 21st century, Mark.

Meanwhile, across town, Grace is explaining to Alex that her husband didn’t put her in the ICU just because he was drunk, but because he found out she was having an affair- with a woman. This trips up Alex, leading to an amusing scene where she rents some classic lesbian movies (Clare of the moon, anyone?) and stays up all night watching them. This leads to a shared kiss, that (I won’t ruin the suspense) somehow gets conveyed to the whole town. Her husband disowns her, taking all their stuff (she didn’t think to put her name on important things like mortgages or cars). Crestfallen, our girl Alex goes out dancing with Grace and makes mad, passionate love to her (Ok, so we only see them kissing in a bed, but you can guess the rest).

Everyone but the main “gay” characters in this movie are so bigotted it seems mind boggling. Alex’s husband forbids her to work at Hope House. Her mother demands to know if she’s “the man” in the relationship because of the tie with her outfit- and no one comes around to acceptance, accept the closeted homos.

Still, something about the main characters Alex and Mark are very believable to me. For some reason in the face of such ignorance they seem like they believe it and think differently. While most of the cast appears to be reading off cue cards, they both seem genuine. Or maybe I just like her legs, I’m not sure.

2 stars- but I’d still watch it if I were you, just so I can hear your comments


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