Which Gay Movie to Watch?

The Daily Beast’s Obsessed

Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.

This week:

Red, White & Royal Gays

There’s something that I find very cool about a weekend that has multiple options if you happen to want to watch some gay people fall in love. (Or out of love. Or however it is you want to describe the deliciously complicated dynamics taking place in Ira Sachs’ Passages.)

The big release this weekend is Red, White & Royal Blue, a new movie about the son of the first female president secretly falling in love with the prince of England. It’s notable because the book was a blockbuster hit, among the “I’ll read this in a weekend while on vacation” set. (I was one of those people; can confirm it delivers.) It’s also notable for how innocent it is, generally—a version of those Hallmark and Netflix “royal rom-coms,” but with queer people instead—and how pissed off that tends to make some people who demand content be more challenging, diverse, and realistic about the queer community.

You will certainly find a film that satisfies the latter desire in Passages, a movie about a toxic love triangle that will make you want to have sex immediately, never have sex again, marry the first person you meet, and never date another day in your life—and which somehow makes all those contradictions make sense. It is, in a point I will never stop harping on, one of the goddamn hottest movies I have ever seen, with phenomenal sex scenes that prove why sex scenes belong in cinema. Go see Passages!

Also, see Red, White & Royal Blue, which is now on Prime Video. It delivers everything comforting, silly, mindless, swoon-inducing, and aspirationally romantic as those aforementioned Hallmark and Netflix movies. But you know how (and this is a safe space to admit it) you watch those and there’s just that one chaste kiss under the mistletoe at the end, and you may think, “Actually, I would like to see these people have sex”? Red, White & Royal Blue has you covered! They’re not Passages-level sex scenes, but they exist. Which, for a movie like this that very easily could have omitted them entirely, is kind of astonishing.

It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Gay Movie Weekend. You could even add the very sweet Netflix series Heartstopper to that mix. I wouldn’t call it a “diversity” of content, considering that these are all projects about (mostly) hot white people with an average of six-to-eight abs. (The character of Alex in Red, White & Royal Blue is half-Hispanic.) But, hey, progress moves slowly, I guess.

Beyoncé, I Get It

People have long been fascinated with what ridiculous, extravagant, or even petty things celebrities put on their “riders”—the list of things that must be present for them in green rooms and hotel rooms when they travel. I think it’s because we like to judge these people, of course, based on what wild demands they may make. But also, I think some of us wonder what we would do. If someone told us that anything we wanted, no matter how specific or peculiar, could be procured, how outlandish would our requests seem?

I mention this because this week I stumbled upon news of what I think is the most rational, reasonable, and, yes, luxurious, tour rider request I’ve seen in a while. According to The Sun, Beyoncé has her own toilet seats shipped around the world while she’s touring, so that she never has to sit on one that has been used by someone else.

Now, I don’t know if this is really true or not. But… try and tell me that, if you had all the money in the world and someone told you this was possible, you would not entertain the thought. And truly, the thought of Beyoncé deigning to sit on a toilet seat that one of our plebeian tushies has touched? It should be against the law.

Behind the Music

It’s a really cool time to be a music fan right now, as the 50th anniversary of hip-hop has been widely celebrated this past week, with some of the genre’s greatest artists talking about the legacy of the music in several pieces that came out.

By pure coincidence, one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time gave some interesting color to one of her iconic music videos. After Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” was ranked the best hip-hop music video ever by Rolling Stone, she offered an anecdote about filming it. If you remember, Elliott wore a giant, cool-as-hell blow-up suit in the video. Well, as she just revealed, getting to set wasn’t so easy.

The funny thing is, the New York and Brooklyn that I know, at least then, probably wouldn’t have even batted an eye.

A True Birthday Gift

I cannot speak to whether or not this photo of Andrew Garfield is real, or new. However, I can say that no fewer than a dozen people sent it to me on my birthday last weekend, a true gift for which I am so grateful.

What to watch this week:

Red, White & Royal Blue: Finally, a queer rom-com that lets its gays just be plain dumb. (Now on Prime Video)

The Eternal Memory: The must-watch documentary of the year so far. Bring tissues. (Now in theaters)

Painkiller: An appropriately furious new drama about the opioid crisis that takes aim at the Sacklers. (Now on Netflix)

What to skip this week:

Heart of Stone: Gal Gadot, have your agents ever heard of a good movie? (Now on Netflix)

The Last Voyage of Demeter: What if we stopped making movies about Dracula? Just a thought! (Now in theaters)

The Daily Beast’s Obsessed

Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.

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