‘Wedding Wars’ Shines Dim Light On Gay Marriage

John StamosThere aren’t many good gay-equality films in the world, and now “Wedding Wars” can be added to the list. Its best effect is it spawned the fabulously gay celebrity site PerezHilton.com to drool over stars John Stamos and Eric Dane. They’re, like, attractive or something.
Perez may be happy to find out there is a Stamos-on-man kiss in “Wedding Wars,” but no tongue. Wimps.
Tongues would be real, and “Wedding Wars” never goes for realism. Take, for instance, James Brolin, who plays an anti-gay governor of Maine. Brolin is married to Barbra Streisand, godmother of gays. This is wink-wink casting, but you know during the whole movie Brolin would never upset his wife’s gay applecart, nor would he want to.
The movie is a topical farce. Dane — the shirtless guy from the towel scene in “Grey’s Anatomy” — plays homophobic Ben. Ben works for the governor and is engaged to the governor’s daughter.
Stamos plays Ben’s gay brother Shel; Shel is an event planner who is prepping Ben’s wedding.
Then everything goes gay all of a sudden. Two weeks before the ceremony, the governor decides to ban gay marriage. Straight Ben supports this supposed defense of traditional marriage. Gay Shel goes on wedding-planning strike, pickets the governor’s mansion, and nets media attention.
If this were one of those overearnest indie films you see in the caffeinated multiplexes these days, there’d be gay crying and perhaps gunfire, and hopefully no self-hating meth-snorting. Movies can be overblown.
But this light gay romance is underblown. Shel’s picketing spurs other gay Americans go on strike, leaving old ladies with perm foils in their hair from coast to coast. Also a-striking they go are gay meteorologists, limo drivers and housewives.
The story itself is just fine and dandy, and smidgens of it are charming. “Wedding Wars” just isn’t very good. It’s slapdash and looks like a quickie cable movie, as if it were written and filmed too fast or breezily to create magnetic characters and memorable dialogue.
The stereotype of the debauched gay parader is skewed, old hat, and “Wedding Wars” avoids it, except when it doesn’t. There’s one pool party where Shel pours booze down the throats of fatless boys while Stamos gays it up.
There is one half-adequate use of the phrase “you bitch,” and Shel is a big fan of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, which is funny because Cooper won’t discuss his dating life publicly.
You can be sure much of the movie is guess-able. Wives and fiancees are pro-gay marriage and can’t believe their knuckleheaded men are passe Neanderthals. A mother asks her son if he’s gay “because I made you watch ice skating with me?”
Some of it is not predictable. Only one briefly shown homophobe is an ass; the rest are nice people with the stupid viewpoint that America needs an indefensible defense of marriage act to destroy Americans’ constitutional rights.
I get the feeling “Wedding Wars” wants to sway hearts and minds. But homophobes probably won’t be convinced to overturn the brainwashing they got from whomever it was that convinced them gay people are subhuman. Their beliefs make homophobes seem subhuman to me. And for me to say homophobes are subhuman makes me look subhuman. See how hate heals America?
“Wedding Wars” does open my eyes to one thing that has nothing to do with gaiety. It’s that Ben and Shel are Lutherans. Lutherans named Ben and Shel? I feel like I’ve been so sheltered.
from The Chicago Sun Times / Doug Elfman

Wedding Wars airs Monday night on A&E

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