Film Oh, Right—That Movie Really Pissed Me Off and I Forgot to Blow My Stack About It on Slog
posted by March 26 at 9:15 AMon
I forgot how thoroughly Enchanted—a Disney pic now out on DVD—pissed me off until I saw the DVD for sale last night. I saw Enchanted in a theater with my kid when it was released. The kid wanted to see it because James Marsden stabbed a bus with a sword in the preview; I wanted to see because James Marsden could stab my grandmother and I’d still wanna—well, this is a post about a Disney film, so I won’t get too specific about what I’d like to do to/with/on James Marsden.
Anyway, the movie is fine. Amy Adams was terrific, Disney did a good job parodying Disney, there were some great numbers—a live-action recreation of one of those impossibly complicated Beauty and the Beast animated dance sequences was particularly good. Great stuff. And Enchanted is one of those movies that makes Manhattan—where I’m writing this blog post—look magical. Every bit as magical as a Disney cartoon kingdoms under the sea or whatever. And it’s summer in Manhattan in Enchanted and absolutely everyone in falling in love—old folks, young folks, black folks, white folks, animated folks, live-action folks. But not gay folks. Amy Adams sings her way up and down Manhattan—from Central Park to the Upper East Side to Times Square—and never encounters a single faggot. In Manhattan—not even in Central Park during an inspired sequence that takes Adams through every corner of the park (save the Brambles) and involves hundreds of New York “types.” Except homos.
And I didn’t have a problem with it. Really. “It’s a Disney movie, it’s for kids,” I thought, watching the Central Park sequence. “They don’t want the American Family Association picketing at multiplexes, so they’re leaving the homos out of Manhattan. Fine. Whatever. Gee, I hope James Marsden has a shower scene too.” And then…
Amy Adams, a magical-kingdom-princess-to-be, is cast into present-day Manhattan by her prince’s wicked stepmother. Her prince charming (Marsden, duh) comes after her. He runs around in tights, bursts into song, searches upper and lower Manhattan, stabs buses, etc. Marsden learns that Adams is living in a certain enormous pre-war building near Central Park—but he doesn’t know which apartment. So he runs through the building knocking on doors. Various Manhattan types answer—mostly individuals implied to be part of couples, if I recall correctly (one person answers the door but you hear a wife or husband’s voice in the background). At one door a woman with a child on her hip and two or three others around her ankles takes one look at Marsden in his Prince Charming getup and says, “You’re too late.” Funny stuff.
Marsden knocks on one last door: It opens and we see fussy/shimmery black wallpaper, an expensive mirror, a crystal chandelier. And an overweight, unattractive, middle-aged gay man with scraggly facial hair. He’s wearing a wifebeater and a leather armband (or a cap—I don’t recall from my single viewing, but he was wearing some hinting-at-kink black leather item or items.) The creepy fag leans out of his apartment and leers at Marsden (which is exactly what I came to do). Marsden looks momentarily panicked, smiles apologetically, and hurries off before the creepy gay dude can… well, drag him into his fussy SM lair and rapes his ass.
Oh, Disney. If you were going to leave us out of Enchanted—if you were going to sexually cleanse Manhattan to make your movie safe for Middle America’s multiplexes—then have the decency to leave us out of Enchanted entirely. Don’t drop in one fag, near the end, as a fucking sight gag.
Yes, yes: there are creepy gay men in Manhattan with fussy apartments and complicated sexual interests. But he’s not the only fag in Manhattan, you dumb assholes. He wouldn’t even be the only fag in any given apartment building in Manhattan. And if you’re going to sweep us out of Central Park, out of Midtown, and out of Times Square, if you’re going to leave us out of Manhattan’s restaurants (?) and fashion design studios (!), then leave us out of Manhattan entirely. Don’t trot just one of us out, at the end, to mock-threaten James Marsden’s Prince Charming with a gay SM rape. Unless, of course, you actually filmed a big gay SM rape scene with James Marsden and it’s included among the deleted scenes on the DVD.
In which case all is forgiven.