“The Family that Gays Together”
As I watched “The Gays”, at first I could not decide if I was offended or really laughing a lot. Then I realized that the best fun we can have is laughing at ourselves and that is just what this movie does. Using almost every cliché in the book, director T.S. Slaughter gives us a satirical look at gay life today. On television we have been inundated with those silly sitcoms about the nuclear family but here is a family that far outdoes others and the film about them is irreverent (to say the least),”twisted” and “raunchy” (so much so that I was not sure what I was watching).
We meet a married gay couple; Bob Gay-Paris (Chris Tanner) and Rod Gay (Frank Holliday) who are raising their two gay sons, Alex and Tommy, to be good gay men sexually and otherwise. They may not be educated as scholars but they have street sense and definitely know how to be gay. They give their sons the necessary advice to empower them as gay men and as one of the blurb says so that they can “bend the world over, lube it up, and snap one off!”
On a more serious note, the film deals with the anxieties and pressures to live like we are all the same and sexuality plays no part in who we are. Our married couple has a fascinating relationship because we see in it all the issues we might have to face now that we can marry. Is it really possible to have a monogamous relationship if we become bored with each other? What about the value of stereotypes and the definitions we give to sex? How do we raise kids and do we raise them as gay? The family we have here is an understatement of dysfunctional yet we laugh at what we see because it could be. As gay parents, what do we tell our kids about sex? This film looks at these issues and more and does so very tongue in cheek and filled with camp (I was afraid that now that we have become “mainstream” we would lose our campiness—not so according to this film). And this is the value of this film—we can laugh at ourselves and at those we know because we will find them here in varying degrees (except maybe for Alex’s friend who services his father at dinner and in front of everyone).
There is full frontal nudity and a couple of really gross moments but they are all in fun. I can guarantee that there will be no Academy Award nominations in acting from this film. But that’s great—the lousy acting makes the movie that much more fun. The best way to enjoy this movie is to forget the rigors of daily life and sit back and let yourself go—it might take a few minutes for you to realize what is happening but that’s ok. Personally, I loved the film and the nerve of those who had anything to do with it.