The first gay-themed film collection by a major studio is a sterling compilation of classics, comedies, romances, and dramas. Plus, enjoy the gay pleasure of seeing some of your favorite stars—and some startling surprises—in their finest gay performances.
by Steven Foster
This isn’t that bargain-bin releasing strategy. You know the one: a couple of films packaged together, with a happy-hour price—the one where the pairings are usually Jaws with Deep Blue Sea, which is a lot like switching from Belvedere to Popov. So it’s nice when the studios devise a way to take our money by actually giving us what we want, instead of unloading their C-level back canon by attaching it to a classic.
Though not every flick in The Cinema Pride Collection is a high-caliber Oscar winner, there is enough cinematic meat to make the lighter fare a pleasant diversion. There are gripping character pieces (The Children’s Hour and Boys Don’t Cry, showcasing Hilary Swank’s wrenching Oscar-branded breakthrough performance), breakthrough comedies (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), moving dramas (Bent, featuring a young and always-hot Clive Owen), and two versions of the same film (the French classic La Cage Aux Folles and its Americanized reboot, The Birdcage).
Other highlights include the lighthearted fag-hag rom com The Object of My Affection with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, the charming lesbian indie Kissing Jessica Stein, and what is probably the straight man’s favorite lesbian pairing of all time, hotties Piper Perabo and Lena Headey in Imagine Me & You.
In a refreshing change of pace, this is a collection that doesn’t skimp on the extras either. There’s the original theatrical trailer to The Children’s Hour; bloopers, teasers, photo galleries, a commentary by director Stephan Elliot for Priscilla; and assorted featurettes and commentaries for Kimberly Pierce’s remarkable Boys Don’t Cry, The Object of My Affection, Kissing Jessica Stein, and Imagine Me & You.
All in all, the collection is a fantastic addition to your entertainment library, and at a mere $50, this set is a steal. You’d be hard-pressed to beat that price, even if you are used to such royalty-robbing viewing tactics as YouTube or scoring bootlegs from sketchy vans on Harwin.