12 Gay Movies Straight Out of LA
By Andrew Belonsky
Closeted Mormons. A Rock Hudson lookalike. A fluffer. An English English professor. They all make appearances in this collection of gay movies based in Los Angeles, a city where identities are malleable, dreams are made (and dashed), and the men are fast and loose. Well, some of them, at least. Others charge. Because, oh yes, there's no shortage of hustlers here (according to the flicks that are generated from La-La Land).
1. A SINGLE MAN (2009): Colin Firth received critical praise (and his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor) for his portrayal of English professor trying to live life while still mourning his dead lover in this Tom Ford-directed film that transports viewers to the Los Angeles of the 1960s. You've probably already seen this one, but it's worth viewing again. Also, composer Abel Korzeniowski's soundtrack is wonderful work music. Just a tip.
2. LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR (2011): Viewers get a sense of the West Coast ballroom scene in this musical. When it debuted at the Los Angeles Film Festival two years ago, The Hollywood Reporter said "the performers are so dynamic that we buy into an ancient musical convention that has fallen out of fashion," and predicted Leave It On The Floor "could develop cult status." Help make that prediction come true.
3. HUSTLER WHITE (1996): 1996 was a big year for gay-themed hustler movies. In addition to this Bruce La Bruce flick, there was Johns and Skin & Bone, but Hustler White wins out because it's not as over-the-top and preachy as its peers. While grit and grime are included, La Bruce made sure to include some of his signature satire and self-examination. Plus, it's far sexier than the others.
4. LATTER DAYS (2003): A romantic comedy about a Mormon who discovers his sexuality, and true love, in Los Angeles has plenty of drama — bike accidents! anti-gay treatment camps! faked deaths! — but enough heart to deserve some respect. The always-watchable Joseph Gordon Levitt makes a cameo.