Monday, January 08, 2018

Great Moments in Movie Shelves #124

"Shy tendrils of russet pleasure 
began their unbidden journey..."




My Best Friend's Wedding came out in 1997 (yes we celebrated its 20th last year) so this joke about getting a cell phone call in a quiet setting was actually pretty fresh when they trotted it out here as the romantically diabolical Julianne (Julia Roberts) calls her gay bestie George (Rupert Everett) mid rom-com chase to get some much-needed straight talk from a gay man.

The film reliance on now twenty-year-old technologies that were fresh at the time -- email sabotage! -- is adorably dated now, but PJ Hogan really leans into it and finds clever uses for cell phones throughout; the final scene where Rupert's call IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE WEDDING is now a classic as far as I am concerned...

"But by god there'll be dancing."

But I love the scene where she calls him at this ridiculous poetry reading because it's one of just two glimpses we get of George's life away from Julianne - he is apparently the type of man who will go to a bookstore to hear Harry Shearer talk about "shy tendrils of russet pleasure" here, and a little earlier there's the scene where Julianne calls his house mid-fancy-dinner and leaves (dated technology alert!) a screaming message on his answering machine...

... where we're given the quickest glimpse of his boyfriend...

Not bad, George! Not bad at all.

Back to the bookstore though: I love that there is a copy of How to Dress Well perched on his shoulder there. George is such a fancy man. Circa 1997 anyway. Anyway I remember watching this movie in 1997 and lapping up all of these minuscule details about George's life - I know it seems kind of crazy now but a gay character in a great big Julia Roberts mainstream rom-com really was still pretty damn novel at the time. The trope of "The Gay Best Friend" wore out its welcome fairly quickly, but it was a necessary step to inclusion. Gay Men as Relationship Experts? Okay! Sure!

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