Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Crazy For Tina.

2005, Canada
Jean-Marc Valle

Ever seen That ‘70s Show? Ever been to Burlington, VT, accidentally caught a TV signal from Quebec, and watched the show in French? Then you don’t need to see this movie. Like That ‘70s Show, C.R.A.Z.Y. is more concerned with recreating a time period than telling an interesting story, though that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good film. Also like The ‘70s Show, the main character is gay, though in this film he actually admits it. Despite its undeniable focus on setting, C.R.A.Z.Y. is a good film, telling the story of a young boy growing up gay in Quebec of the 1970s. I’d imagine that growing up gay in Quebec is the same in any era; you repress and become self-hating, hiding your true self away from a world that simultaneously ignores and hates you, then you move to Montreal and suck dick for crystal meth in the bathroom of Parking. And, like a gay bar, the music in this movie sucks. Way too much Bowie, not enough Black Sabbath. AIDS isn’t the curse of the gay man, glam is.

Is this article promoting hateful stereotypes, or providing valuable public service annoucements? Why can't it do both?

The performances are strong, especially those of Marc-Andre Grondin as the son and Michel Cote as the father, and the script is equally arresting. However, the film wanders in its final third, bringing our hero to Israel, of all places, before returning to what we really want to see, which is how he integrates himself into a intolerant society and a family that cannot reconcile their love for him with their prejudices. There is a lot to like in this film, but also a lot of Queen. Well, maybe there isn’t, but all 70s music sounds like Queen to me, and as previously stated, there’s only so much of that I can take before I cave into my own prejudices against shitty arena rock and give up on the film. As Canada’s Oscar bid for 2006, I wish C.R.A.Z.Y. all the best, for it proves than Canadians can make films about things that aren’t hockey or being bored in the snow. They can make films about lame music, too, and spend their entire Gross Domestic Product on clearance rights.


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