Another Gay Movie
Dir: Todd Stephens
Cert: 18 • US: 94 min • TLA Releasing • April 28, 2006
Walter Beck reviews
A queer spin on popular teen sex comedy films, Another Gay Movie is tasteless, disgusting, and offensive, easily one of my favorite raunchy comedies of the last ten years. It captures the spirit of classic dirty comedies like Animal House, Porky’s, and American Pie, that last film being the particular target of satire for director Todd Stephens.
Following the post-graduation summer of four high school buddies, Andy (Michael Carbonaro), the awkward sex-crazed kid, Jarod (Jonathan Chase), the insecure jock, Griff (Mitch Morris), the nerd, and Nico (Jonah Blechman), the ultra-flamboyant queen, the boys are on a mission to get laid before summer ends.
What follows is a series of hijinks and misadventures as good as any screwball sex comedy film. There are weird dreams, hookups that go completely sideways, failures of sexual equipment, both mechanical and biological, and some interesting incidents involving rodents and quiche.
When it’s all said and done, the boys realize they had it wrong all along, and that to truly lose your virginity, you need a good passionate screw with someone you really care about.
What’s the moral of the story? Andy puts it bluntly, “Real men take it up the ass” as they toast to the coming sequel, breaking the fourth wall.
Out of the main actors, Michael Carbonaro, who plays Andy, comes off the strongest. Despite being twenty-nine when the film came out, his boyish looks and clumsy mannerisms throughout capture the awkwardness of a horny teenager in search of sex pretty well. Especially key are his facial expressions when his folks catch him in some embarrassing act, whether it’s shoving vegetables up his ass, getting caught sticking his dick in a quiche, or a very strange glory hole scene towards the end, he has that perfect mix of embarrassment and a stunned “oh shit!” look on his face.
The supporting cast is also very strong in this film. First and foremost is the casting of Canadian queer comedian Scott Thompson as Mr. Wilson, Andy’s old man. Already familiar to many from his brilliant work with sketch group the Kids in the Hall, Thompson ups the awkward factor in his role here. His character tries so desperately to help his son through this difficult time, but efforts do little more than embarrass Andy and his friends. Particularly funny is the scene where he has to remove a malfunctioning cock pump from Jarod. Only Scott Thompson could make that scene what it is, simultaneously embarrassing and hilarious.
Another great supporting actor is Irishman Graham Norton as Mr. Puckov, Andy’s Eastern European math teacher. Like with Carbonaro, it’s the facial expressions that sell Norton’s character. He plays a somewhat closeted heavy BDSM freak and when Andy comes over for a lesson, not knowing what he’s getting into, Norton’s malevolent facial expressions sell the scene. You can tell he’s getting a sadistic sardonic pleasure out of dominating his former student, even if things go wrong in the end.
The storyline of the film itself isn’t that original, horny teenagers in search of sex is a bit of a tradition in American gross-out comedy, going back to the 1982 classic Porky’s. What sets this film apart, story wise, is the directing style of Todd Stephens. Stephens made his name in queer cinema, going back to his 1998 debut Edge of Seventeen. He has taken his experience in gay films and used a Mel Brooks/Zucker Brothers sense of humor in it. He knows the iconic status of the basic story line and injects heavy parody into it, poking fun at Carrie and American Pie, recreating the classic pie-fucking scene in the second one for a young queer audience.
But it’s not just all gross-out laughs; Stephens has also used a lot of Zucker Brothers subtlety, such as naming the high school San Torum High (a poke at notoriously homophobic former US Senator Rick Santorum), and having Andy’s mom bear a bit of a resemblance to Faye Dunaway’s character in Mommie Dearest.
And that mix of satire is exactly what makes this film work. Stephens has taken the best elements of teen sex comedies and given them a queer spin. He has said, “Alright, straight America, you can laugh at your horniness from when you were a kid, fuck it, so can we.” And he does, this film plays up every stereotype out there, it has the BDSM freaks, the drag queens, the weird internet hookups, the ultra-flamers, all of it. But it’s all done for laughs, it’s not cruel, it’s not mocking, it’s holding up the fun house mirror to us and letting us see how silly it can all be.
Todd Stephens has carved out a notch in the American teen sex comedy genre for the likes of us. Many films in American gay cinema are dramatically heavy, portraying the loss and heartbreak that goes with a lot of our lives, Stephens and his cast has flipped the middle finger to that whole bit and decided to play up the excessive sexuality for laughs. There is no tragedy in this film, unless you consider the bad sex we all have when we’re young as a “tragedy”. Oh sure, you can make the argument that this is a cult film with a specific audience in mind and Stephens is just preaching to the choir, but with the way the times are, the choir needs a break, we need a good, sick laugh.
Another Gay Movie gives us that laugh. As Andy says in the end, when asked about the moral of the story, “Real men take it up the ass.”