‘Tis a Truth, Universally Acknowledged…

Originally I had planned this post to be about The Hobbit… or rather J.R.R. Tolkien and why his books make such epic movies. However, for two very specific reasons this post is NOT about The Hobbit: 1)while Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, and Peter Jackson don’t believe in over promotion, I do… The Hobbit has become too much money making, and too little epic; and 2)I was introduced to an independent movie idea, which I believe deserves support from everyone, because it’s about a very important issue.

For this post I actually did some serious research, because movies on gay marriage simply aren’t something you traditionally study in film history class. I tried Google, and Wikipedia, and IMDB, and some of the more obscure film books I own… and came up with very little. Most films deal with gay marriage on either a documentary, or un-serious comedic, level (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, anyone?).

So here’s a legitimate question for consideration: why should gay marriage even be a discussion? The history of gay rights is another topic all-together, but why should marriage be something dictated? Rarely, if ever, do you hear a massive political campaign waged against a 70-year old man marrying a 25-year old woman; or a marriage based on business; or a marriage based on convenience or business or other love-less reasons. My mother always told me that “you don’t get to choose who you fall in love with,” but you certainly do get to choose whom you marry… and no one has ever argued that marriages based on financial gain, or lack of choice for business reasons, were unacceptable. In fact, they used to be ridiculously normal.

In the United States there exists something called ‘marriage incentives,’ the purpose of which is to reward a single mother for marrying the father of her child. The political argument is two-fold: 1)two people are often more financially capable of supporting and child, and therefore government assistance would be required less; and 2)studies show that children who are raised in two-parent homes do better. But what common sense tells us is that children do better when raised in a two parent home based on love and affection, not because the government gave incentives. Shortly after being re-elected, President Obama received a letter from a young girl whose fathers’ were married, praising Obama’s stance on gay marriage. (Needless to say, it made both of her fathers proud; and unshockingly, it wasn’t widely reported).

So, if it’s acceptable to marry for reasons other than love (including reasons of religious/political/financial reasons), then why would love-based marriages be legislated? What right does any government have to legislate who can, and cannot, marry? Ironically, the reasoning is mostly religious (albeit, having taken biblical history classes, still have no idea where those reasonings ACTUALLY come from). The problem with the discussion is that the facts are mostly obscured by rhetoric, and an argument over who can shout the loudest. And, ironically, many political discussions happen in television and in film… yet no serious film dealing with the issue of gay marriage has ever made its way into a theatre.

Hollywood has produced movies on slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, pretty close to every war humanity has ever participated in (and some which have been made up… ie: Transformers, Falling Skies, Independence Day, etc), AIDS, many movies with lawyers, some atrociously cheesy rom coms… but never has it even contemplated (that’s been publicised) a serious move dealing with gay marriage. So here’s another question: why would Hollywood be dismissive of a story line that deals with something so very important? Answer: because its earning potential is very low. Political movies have always been written in a specific manner, specifically one that ignores specific issues and deals with the overall theme of politics (be that good, or negative). More often than not, movies that deal with a specific political issue tend to be independent… and often are fantastic. It seems, however, that major movie producers only wish to talk about gay marriage as long as they can make it funny, and anything but serious.

Ok, granted, Super Awesome appears to be written in a comedic vein, but why not? What better way to deal with a serious issue, particularly one that affects so many people, than to make it humorous. A massive large amount of movies (and television shows… West Wing for instance) which deal with very serious political issues have some comedic value to them. The problem isn’t necessarily that no one has come up with a way to discuss the issue, the problem is that gay marriage is becoming a third rail of politics (you step on it and you die). Movie producers and studio owners, regardless of situation, play politics every day… and making a movie about gay marriage (particularly in the United States) is a good way to make some serious trouble for yourself.

The problem isn’t that movies have never been made about serious things, because they have… and about issues that no one wanted to touch long before the public at large was willing to listen (Philadelphia, Dr. Strangelove Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Paths of Glory [or After the Dance on stage]for example). The problem is that the issue of gay marriage is to politics today what communism was to politics in the 1950s. Sometimes what it takes is a couple of guys, making a shoestring budget movie about a specific issue, for someone to decide it’s worth stepping onto the third rail. Hopefully Super Awesome will be that movie.

[for more information on Super Awesome, or to help, go here:  or follow them on twitter at @SuperAMovie]

[btw, I doubt the two guys who created/wrote/directed/acted in, etc even know this post exists… so no, I’m not receiving compensation of any kind for promoting an in-production movie. I honestly believe this is something worth supporting… particularly since I currently reside in the United States, and for some reason this is actually a massive politically divisive issue here…also, considering my well known disinterest in most things in the comedy genre, the fact that I think this has serious potential to be fantastic should be your first clue… ]

[there was an excellent opinion piece arguing why arguments agains gay marriage are rubbish published in the Chicago Tribune in May…give it a once over: bit.ly/KBck08]

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