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Saturday, July 26, 2014

'Tennessee Queer' DVD: Southern Fried Prejudice

Product Details
Breaking Glass Pictures continues giving fellow Philadelphia LGBT film producer/distributor TLA Entertainment a run for its money regarding the DVD release, which hits actual and virtual store shelves on July 29 2014, of the 2012 comedy "Tennessee Queer."

This film, which another reviewer apt refers to as 'Mayberry LGBT,' aditionally makes a great companion to the Unreal TV reviewed DVD of the hilarious Del Shores comedy "Southern Baptist Sissies."

The very amusing "Queer" revolves around the efforts of the supportive family of roughly 30 year-old Jason Potts to pack up his male lover and the rest of his happy life in New York City and (ala "Green Acres") move back to his hometown of Smyth, Tennessee. Both a history of brutal bashings during high school and a chance to move to London (England, not Tennessee) make that prospect less than appealing for our hero. A twist related to the desire to have Jason move back is the less-than-altruistic motives of his siblings regarding this.

All this leads to Jason conditioning his moving back on the city leaders of Smyth granting a permit for a gay pride parade. This bluff fails when the request is granted despite the presentation regarding this including images of rugged lesbians on motorcycles, men clad in leather, and svelte young men dancing in cages.

Of course, the motives of those who approve the request are no more pure than the man who makes them.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Queer" provides a cliff notes version of the premise of this film while nicely conveying the charm and sweetness of the manner in which this tale is told. This glimpse of the film also spares viewers a sense of the mean-spirited cruelty of the moral majority in the small town in which the action occurs.

Personal experiences show that the depiction of the attitude of the politicians and the more blatant childish/unenlightened/cruel hatred of the general population is accurate. That is not to assert that things are much (if any) better in other regions of the United States.

An encounter with folks similar to the citizens of Smyth occurred during a business trip to Arlington, Texas. A group of us were walking back to the hotel after a Texas Rangers game, when a colleague made the PURELY PLATONIC friendly gesture of putting his arm across my shoulder. Ignorance regarding that gesture being fine but reciprocating it indicating that you are queer resulted in putting my arm across his shoulder. He seemed fine with it.

Within minutes, someone inside a battered pickup that was driving by yelled "fags." Readers who know of the humor of your (often humble) reviewer will not be surprised to learn that his response was to shout out "it takes one to know one."

This retort prompted the driver of the pickup to come to a dead stop in the middle of the road and put the vehicle in reverse. This prompted the group to run across a field. Fortunately, the person or persons in the truck chose to not pursue us.

More recently, each post of a review of an LGBT film coincides with losing a Twitter follower. This unfortunate price is a small one to pay for spreading the word about (often terrific) productions that will never show up on Wal-Mart shelves or be featured items in sales of online retailers. Like the Catholic Church, Unreal TV always welcomes back those who stray.

The award for best line in "Queer" goes to Jason comparing getting gay men to commit to any event to herding kittens. A similar concept that the film does not include is gay men referring to their friends constantly being late as FST.

The award for best scene in "Queer" goes to a scene that shows a fall-on-the-floor funny video for a Christian camp that is designed to "cure" gay teens of that evil. Highlights include the most erotic car maintenance ever and wonderful youthful exuberance regarding a particular "wholesome" film genre.

Other scenes in which seemingly gay teens and early 20-somethings play butch straight high school boys are very amusing. The (most likely intentionally) horrible acting of these young men who seem to have trouble relating to their characters prompt thoughts that their filmography includes more sexually explicit gay-oriented titles.

All of this adds up to an entertaining film to which anyone with a family and/or a traumatic childhood can relate. It additionally is nice for having a generally realistic and positive ending. The town does not form a flash mob and dance to "Its Raining Men," but SOME progress is made.

Anyone with questions or (civil) comments regarding "Queer" is strongly encouraged to email me. You can also connect through the aforementioned method of Twitter via @tvdvdguy.