Movies

Use of Word "Gay" in "Dilemma" Movie: No Big Deal

| by Hollywood Elsewhere

I didn't pick up on yesterday's "gay" controversy, sparked by an amusing (for me at least) Vince Vaughn riff in a trailer for Universal's The Dilemma.

I spent most of yesterday picking up the rental car from the spot where I was told to leave it early Monday morning by Officer Diamond, and then driving back from East Hampton and then returning the rental car to a Dollar agency in New Jersey, etc. But now I'm on it.

As one who took some heat a while back for using the term "gay music" (i.e, "I loathe ethereal, dreamily feminine and generally unpunctuated pop music...gliding along, un-rocked, non-Lou Reed-ish...music that seems dead set against making any kind of thump-crunchin' sound...that seems to summon the candy-assed spirit and attitude of Michael Cera, and which the almost seems to exists in order to counteract and nullify the spirit of rock 'n' roll music"), I totally get what Vaughn's character means when he says "electric cars are gay."

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Let's try it again for the slow readers out there. There are two definitions of gay. The first simply means being homosexual, and we all know that for guys this generally doesn't imply or allude to any of the dreary homophobic faggy concepts of yesterday. The second definition means lacking a certain softball-adept, baseball-hat wearing "guy" quality. Possessed of a certain gelatinous, salad-eating metrosexual attitude. Lacking a sense of timeless Steve McQueen coolness.

Universal has removed Vaughn's "electric cars are gay" line from the trailer. It was cut, I suspect, because of that gay Rutgers freshman who committed suicide after being outed online, and because everyone is extra-sensitive now about anything that smacks of gayish slurs. There's no telling if the line will stay in the feature, but I would guess not...right?

The outrage that Anderson Cooper and GLAAD have expressed seems to be like a deliberate misunderstanding of the term "gay" as Vaughn uses it.

In the trailer Vaughn defines gay as "not homosexual but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay." I've had Allan Loeb's screenplay on my laptop for nine months, and in the scripted Vaughn's character (a schlub named Ronnie) goes on to say "not homosexual gay...but soft gay, unmanly gay, quiet and small gay", and that "if you're a real man...you don't want an electronic car."