I went to see "Brokeback Mountain" last weekend. I confess that from the time that I first heard about it, and read the Annie Proulx story, there was a little tweak of my heterosexual male ego that may have verged on homophobia. What's this? How could this thought occur in such an astute, sensitive, liberal mind? It's a love story, after all. It's an epic story of lifelong connections set against the backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming and the prairies of Texas. It was all those things that the critics and my friends had lead me to believe - and for my wife, just a little bit more.
On the way out of the theater, she sighed. There was a pause, and she continued, "I never got how guys like to watch two girls - you know." She blushed just a little, and then, "But watching Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. Well." I got it. That was some pretty hot guy on guy action. And besides that, they were also remarkably tender. All the really physical stuff happens early in the film, to make sure that you understand just how real their love was. Their first embraces are like pitched battles, almost like they might rather have killed the other instead of making love. I would imagine certain theater managers can anticipate the moment when those who will be offended will start heading for the exit.
For those who stay, expect to have your heart broken. The tragedy is as big as the sky. The number of on-line reviews that declare "I loved this movie, and I'm straight" seem all the more amusing to me now. "I made my boyfriend go see it." "I'm a Christian and I liked it!" Well, how about that - a film that opens minds and hearts. Bravo.