Alex's Closet

I knew I could count on Colin Farrell to really mess with the holidays. Maestro Oliver Stone's Alexander arrived to dump on homo history last week, with Farrell in the lead and Jared Leto as his beloved confidante, Hephaistion. Everyone's making a big deal about how supposedly flaming the movie is: A New York Times headline hollered "Breaking Ground With a Gay Movie Hero," while gossip sheets made much of the fact that Greek lawyers angry over the notion of an epic girlyman were considering a lawsuit because "the production company should make it clear to the audience that this film is not a true depiction." Believe me, the movie's wigs will take care of that job; I haven't seen such bad hair since Knots Landing went off the air. And the "gay movie hero"? Bah, humbug. Alexander isn't the Great—he's the Cocktease.

It's an indication of the movie's timidity that the most physical Alexander and Hephaistion ever get is when they're 10-year-old boys wrestling in gym class. Young Alexander is taken to the mat by Young Hephaistion, and narrator Anthony Hopkins solemnly informs us that "it was later said the only place Alexander was ever defeated was between Hephaistion's thighs." Not only is this line apparently not meant to be the howler it is, it's not meant to be believed, either: It taunts us with the false promise of eventually seeing Colin Farrell between Jared Leto's thighs. Hell, I'd even settle for Jared Leto between Colin Farrell's thighs—and, let's be honest, Jared is such a bottom—but all we're given is scene after scene of Colin and Jared boo-hooing on each other with proclamations of undying love. You'd think such fervent Macedonian devotion would lead to a glimpse of Greek action, but nooooooooooo—the boys hug like they're sending each other off to their deaths (or, worse, to a screening of Alexander), and then it's "Sorry, honey, not tonight; I have a war tomorrow." Now, I don't know how many gay boys you know, but trust me, any homo worth his tunic would plunder Jared Leto long before taking on Persia, fourth-century convention or no.

The one time Colin does find himself ravaging more than the neighboring nations, he's ponying barbarian bride Rosario Dawson, whose pendulous breasts get more screen time than anything Alexander may be doing at the bathhouse. Colin dutifully mounts Rosario after making ferocious little biting motions in the air, an activity meant to indicate how animalistic their coupling is, as opposed to the refined admiration shared with Master Jared. The randy warriors we see playing grab-ass with pretty boys are depicted as drunken heathens. When Colin finally gets around to some same-sex lip lock, in fact, the intoxicated smooch with a real faggy eunuch results in Alexander's almost immediate downfall: He kills a disgusted comrade two minutes later, and spends the rest of the film battling an evidently feminine inability to control his emotions.

Despite the hype to the contrary, Stone's film peddles the same old sexist, homophobic shtick: that great love between two men cannot be sullied by sex, an activity reserved for the lowly sensations one feels toward females. This isn't history, it's the wishful thinking of macho blowhards afraid of women—and each other.

swiecking@seattleweekly.com

 
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