My friend, Jamie Petello, told me about a movie that I should watch, Bear City-The Movie. Jamie, a man whose patience is as large as his waistline, suggested the movie about two years ago. In an email to me last Sunday, he asked if I had yet watched it. I hadn't. He found it for me on Amazon Instant Video, and sent me another email with the link on Thursday. Being home alone (sob!) tonight, I decided to watch it, thinking that I can always turn the TV off. I couldn't imagine a story about bears (hairy, large-ish gay men) that would hold my interest for 90 minutes.
I was so wrong! This is a beautiful movie. Not a soft-porn flick, as I imagined, nor a vacuous bit of fluff as are so many gay-themed movies, Bear City-The Movie has a heart and soul, along with a cast, that captured me in the first few minutes and held me til the end. It's an old-fashioned love story. . . not just one love story, actually, but a whole bunch, all peopled by men whose physical types are so out of the mainstream that it took me a while to adjust.
In addition to showing the love these men have for one another, the movie has a huge message of acceptance: acceptance of self and acceptance of others. It shows large men who not only are comfortable with their bodies, but whose bodies are desired just as they are. It shows a man who is fighting to reconcile the reality of his body with the fantasy of mainstream straight and gay expectations of beauty. It shows young gay men having deeply to examine the prejudices all us gay men seem to have that make us look to the toned, handsome, and young among us as our models.
I'm not sure how wide an audience this movie would have. I doubt that straight people of either sex will find in it the messages I did. I'm not sure that even some gay men will like it. But I liked it very much. I have it for seven days, and I certainly will watch it again. It is an unexpectedly beautiful movie that has done damage to my long-held real definition of beauty (my real, deep-down definition, not the politically correct definition I show to others). It also gave an electric shock to the way I look at my own body at my age.
Who would have thought?
Jamie thought. Now I know why he's been on my case about this movie. He wants me to love myself better. Thank you, Jamie, and huge luvin, my friend!