Many months represent some part of social life. It just so happens that June is the month for gay pride. Now I myself am not gay in any form but I do support people who are gay and enjoy many of the movies that have been made about them. The following is a list of many movies that I find to be worth watch for Pride Month.
1. “The Bird Cage” – This movie is a comedy from the early 90’s about a gay night club owner / show director named Armand, his spastic life partner Albert, their live in servant Agador, and Armand’s son Val. In this movie, Val comes home from college for a while and tells his father about a girl he wants to marry and asks for help. The problem is that the girl’s father is a senator who feels that gays are an abomination and is already in the middle of a major political scandal. In order to make the marriage go smoother, Val’s fiancee, Barbara, lies to her parents and tells them that Val’s father is a Cultural Attache to Greece and that his “mother” is just a house wife. Val’s fiancee announces that her parents decided to go down to South Florida – where the story takes place – to meet his parents. To make the night go smoothly, Val asks his father to hide everything that has to do with being gay but as the night moves on, the lies start to unravel one hilarious situation after another. Every scene leaves the viewer laughing like crazy.
2. “The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert” – This 1994 movie filmed in Australia will leave you laughing every time. A duo of drag queens and a “tranny” in need of a nice long vacation away from Sydney are given an offer to perform for a hotel in Alice Springs. As the three friends – Mitzi, Felicia, and Bernadette – make there way from the big city to the middle of the Simpson Desert, they leave an impression on the locals of every town they stop in along the way. While in the desert, their bus breaks down and one of the locals named Bob offers to help them spread their fame by setting them up with a gig at the local pub. Things don’t go quite as planned and Bob is offered the opportunity to travel with them for his own vacation in exchange for his services as a mechanic. This is one of the funniest movies to ever come from Australia.
3. “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” – Another early to mid ’90s movie. This one is much like the movie above but it takes place in the U.S. After winning a drag beauty contest, Vida and Noxzema are given tickets to fly to a national level drag show in Hollywood, Ca. While going up to their dressing room, they stumble across a young drag queen named Chichi who’d hoped for so long to win. They agree to take Chichi with them to Hollywood while molding “her” in their image by trading in their plane tickets to get a car. While driving across America, they are pulled over by a homophobic sheriff who becomes inappropriate in his actions and ends up unconscious. The three queens, thinking the sheriff is dead, leave him in the middle of the road and continue on their journey. They stop at a rest stop where the car breaks down and they have to hitch a ride to the next town. Once they get into town, they are told that they will have to stay for a few days and decide to try and make the best of things. In the mean time the “dead” sheriff has been found by the State Police, alive and well, and is now out to arrest his “attackers” who are now turning the little town from “boring” to “party city.” This movie is funny and worth the watch but I warn you, there are scenes of domestic violence in it.
4. “Holiday Heart” – If you’re more into a drama than a comedy then here’s a good one for you. Recently widowed drag queen, Holiday, is out with his friend for Halloween when a young girl runs out of an apartment building screaming for help. Holiday, not one to let bad things happen to people, ignores the advice from his friend and rushes to help the girl whose mother is being beaten by her drug addict boyfriend. He shields the girl and her mother as the boyfriend tries to get to them again and is persuaded against it when Holiday pulls a knife on the boyfriend. That night, Holiday takes the girl and her mother into his multifamily home where he has an open “apartment” and tries to rehabilitate the young girl’s mother, Wanda after learning about her own drug problems and even helps her get a job. As time goes on, Wanda starts becoming more distant and Holiday discovers that she now has a drug dealer living with them and doesn’t take too kindly to Wanda and her daughter Niki being re-exposed to the drug world. After a big fight between Holiday and Wanda which results in her disappearing, Silas the drug dealing boyfriend puts aside his dislike for Holiday and asks him to look after Niki while he is away for a few weeks. As time goes by, Holiday raises Niki as his own child in hopes that Wanda was OK and would return soon. After more time goes by, Silas returns and explains Niki and Wanda’s past to Holiday. While raising Niki together, Silas and Holiday gain a mutual respect for each other and start to become friends. This is a really good drama with it’s funny moments. Definitely a must watch.
5. “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” – Straight New York City firefighters, Chuck and Larry are walking around in a build that had just been on fire and checking for embers when the floor gives way and chuck falls. After Larry saves Chuck’s life in the accident, Chuck promises that he will pay his best friend back with any favor. What he didn’t expect was that Larry would lose his pension unless he remarried. Out of desperation and guilt tripping, Larry convinces Chuck to marry him so that he could have his benefits back for his children if he was killed on the job. As the movie progresses, the other firefighters find out and the rumors start spreading around the station about them until a new firefighter, Fred, is brought in. The rumors start shifting about Fred and how he is thought to have killed people who got on his bad side. This causes the others to fear him which comes in handy when he starts taking up for Chuck and Larry. After a while, their Captain finds out that the gay marriage was all just a scam to keep the benefits and tells them that he will deny any knowledge if the city found out the truth. The longer they keep there secret going, the more they realize how rough the gay community has it and they start defending the rights and dignity of the very group of people they used to make fun of. A good movie that will offer some good laughs.
6. “Strange Bedfellows” – This is an Australian version of Chuck & Larry basically. Two straight volunteer firefighters, Vince and Ralph, who live in “Bush Country” agree to get married to each other to help Vince get out of having to pay thousands of dollars in taxes that his ex-wife left for him in their divorce. Then Ralph finds out that his daughter is bringing someone home to meet him in a few days which adds to his stress. To make things even more stressful for the pair, the government says they are going to send someone to investigate the validity of the marriage. The stress of not knowing how to be gay causes them to get help from the town’s only gay man who advises them to take a trip to Sydney and spend time with the gay community. While they are there, they do a bit of shopping, hit the clubs and bars, make a few friends, and then they go back home. Just shortly after coming back home, they are greeted by the investigator and convince him to meet them back at the house in a half hour or so. While they are at the house making it look like a gay couple lives there, Ralph’s daughter arrives and is told to come back later. This movie is funny and its worth watching but it isn’t as funny as Chuck & Larry. I still recommend it though.
7. “Mrs. Doutfire” – OK I know this one really isn’t a “gay” movie but I include due to the fact that the main character dresses in drag and his make-up artists are gay. This movie is about a San Fransisco family who go through a divorce after a birthday party that’s gotten a little too far out of control. Miranda wins sole custody of their son, Chris, and daughters Natalie and Lydia. Their father, Daniel, is given visitation one day of the week until they are due back in court a year later. He is then told that his visitation rights are temporary and is given three months to meet the conditions for him to qualify for joint custody. He is able to get a new home and job and one night while Miranda is picking up their children, she informs Daniel that she is putting an ad in the paper for a nanny. Daniel asks to see the form that Miranda filled out and then changed a couple of digits in the phone number when her back was turned and then gives it back to her. Starting the next day, he begins making calls with odd scenarios and then ends the day with a serious call as Mrs. Doutfire. With help from his brother Frank and Frank’s boyfriend Jack, he is made into a 60 year old lady and then the fun really begins. A definite must watch movie. Fun for the whole family.
8. “Philadelphia” – A gay lawyer, Andrew, in Philadelphia, Pa is fired from the law firm that he works at after his bosses find out that he has AIDS. Realizing that he has become a victim of discrimination, he seeks out lawyers to help him fight the firm with a lawsuit. Due to him being gay and having AIDS, none of the lawyers are willing to take his case at first. After work, the last lawyer, a homophobe named Joe, that turned Andrew down went to the library to do some research when he spotted Andrew and noticed the way people acted around him. After witnessing this treatment and then an attempt to isolate Andrew from the rest of the patrons because of his condition, Joe got up and sat with Andrew and then decided to take his case. As the movie progresses, Joe becomes less homophobic as he gets to know his client and the two become good friends. This movie is a really good drama that portrays a message to people. The actors were well chosen for their parts and the make-up artists did a really good job with the progression of the disease. Also, in the movie, real pictures of Tom Hanks (who plays Andrew) in his youth were used and made the character more realistic. I strongly recommend this movie to anyone wanting a good drama.
Well these are all the movies that I can think of that are best suited for Pride Month. I’m sure there are more that I don’t know about but these will get you off to a good start I think. If you are looking for movies to celebrate the month with or have seen one of these and can’t remember the title, I hope this list helps. I think that you’ll enjoy these movies. I know I do.