Throw Stones At This Film (Movie Thoughts: Stonewall)

swallSigh. I have heard nothing but pans about “Stonewall.” Is it really that bad? I mean it has to have some redeeming values, right? But there I was, in a Saturday afternoon screening of this movie (with less than ten people in attendance) and all I could do was shake my head in annoyance. How could director Roland Emmerich be so tone deaf? Did he have such a major boner for actor Jeremy Irvine that he made his character, Danny, the central focus of the film and put the historic Stonewall incident as background for Danny’s cliched storyline? But then again, who can blame him? Irvine, even in a bloodied white t-shirt looks fine as hell, and to be fair, he has charm and charisma (I hope this doesn’t become the death spell for his career) Everything in this movie feels icky – older queens are portrayed as bitter old queens, disposable members of the gay community who prey on the young and beautiful. And the drag queens, the minorities – they are just as bad. When Danny tells Rey, hsi drag queen friend that he can never be in love with him, he says “We’re too different.” But isn’t that what being gay celebrates? Oh, I forgot straight acting white men should only be with same. (But then again, one Sunday Fun Day at The Abbey may prove Emmerich’s point)   Jon Robin Baitz (who I will forever love because he created the television show ‘Brothers And Sisters) supplies the most hackneyed dialogue here – so inauthentic, so artificial.  And Sheridan Square looks more like Sesame Street, adding to the cardboard feel of the film. But most importantly, the historical whitewashing is numbingly offensive. Of course, int his film, it’s the straight-acting white boy hero who does it. Though we don’t know exactly who did, it is probably someone like Marcia P Johnson who did. The young gay generation (whom Emmerich says is the movie’s top demographic) will have that image molded in their heads, and it will be just so wrong on so many levels. When protesters of teh film wanted to boycott the movie, my initial reaction was to tell them to not give the movie so much attention. But now I am inclined to agree with them. This is a dangerous movie, and even though it is flopping, there are still people who might believe it.

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