Did anyone else NOT enjoy "Brokeback Mountain"?

I really wanted to like Brokeback Mountain. After hearing both friends and people on this board talk about how it was so moving, so courageous, how it even made them cry, I was totally psyched for this to be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. And man, was I let down.

Okay, this WAS a nice film to look at; it probably would have looked better on the big screen but I got the gist of it. But unlike some other movie fans, I cannot live on setting alone. There were great swaths of this movie where nothing happened. Nothing! Can’t you pick up the pace, people? But my biggest complaint was that I didn’t think there was any chemistry between Ennis and Jack. Their first sex scene felt forced, and I could never really see what made them compatible or attracted to one another. I honestly got more of a romantic vibe out of Ennis and his wife, and I don’t think that’s due to just expecting more chemistry out of a male/female couple. And the ending was completely telegraphed, I saw it coming from a mile away and the flashback scene halfway through only confirmed it. But I can deal with a predictable movie–as long as I have some sympathy for the characters! And here, I didn’t. They didn’t write the characters interesting enough to make me care; they were still the same old tired stereotypes of the “strong silent type” and the “young wild guy who won’t settle down,” except that in this case they’re gay. And that twist was not enough to turn this boring setting-driven romantic drama around for me, especially since I am not of the demographic that is easily startled or disarmed by a gay relationship.

I want a good, interesting gay relationship movie. And I wonder whether most of the praise this movie received had more to do with the “gay twist” than the quality of the acting and script. I think that if it would have been a straight romance, with the level of chemistry between the actors remaining the same, it would have been panned as unrealistic. But because everyone wants to see a gay romance no matter how bad it is, this was praised. I can understand that, mainstream movies about non-effete gay men don’t come out every day, but I wasn’t feeling this movie.

I’ve been disappointed with movies lately. Out of the five BP nominees the only one I really liked was Good Night and Good Luck, everything else (disclaimer: I’ve not seen Capote) seemed like it was just visually stunning movies that tried way too hard to grind a moral into your head.

I appreciate that BBM might have changed the public’s perception of gay people and applaud it for that. But if you already have a non-stereotypical view of gays, this becomes just another romance movie starring two main characters with no chemistry. And for me, it fell flat.


You’re entitled to your opinion, no matter how far off the mark it might be.

And for the non-snarky version, I don’t understand how anyone can watch, for example, the “sleeping on your feet” scene and think that there is no chemistry between Ledger and Gyllenhall. Seriously, I’m mystified.

I thought it was barely ok. Mostly because it never seemed to be going anywhere so unless you connected with the characters there wasn’t anything to hold your interest.

I liked it very much, but I can absolutely see why someone wouldn’t. In fact, as much as I liked it, I haven’t recommended it to many other people, and when I went to see it didn’t even bother trying to find someone to go with me. It was slow. I don’t usually mind that in a movie, but I can see how it would drive a person up the wall. It’s most redeeming feature is that it * is * a gay love story / tragedy and so is a novelty. In my opinion, love stories in general are crap, and so without the gender twist, there would be no reason to make this movie in the first place. So, anyone who isn’t sympathetic or at least a little interested in gay relationships isn’t gonna get a whole lot out of it (not saying that you’re that way or that ther’s anything wrong with that :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I’d better get around to seeing it before they come and take away my gay card.

I’m with you on this, davenportavenger. Imho, the only saving grace of the movie was the scenery. In fact, after posting my thoughts on the Dope, I felt as though I must have missed something and watched it again! I noticed a few tender moments the second time around, but overall it just felt forced and more lust driven than romantic.

Of course, I realize I had huge expectations that were not met (how anyone can think this movie positively changed the public’s perception of gay people is beyond me) and as Otto has already pointed out, I have no taste. :smiley:

Can you elaborate on this scene, it must have been one of the those that I slept through. I agree it was a well shot movie and all, but, I never really developed any affinity for the characters. By the end of the movie I could not have cared less how the characters ended up, so long as the movie was finally over.

The movie was filmed right where I grew up. That scenery will make my heart break when I do get to finally see it. I currently live 2500+ miles away.

Thank you for posting this, davenportavenger. I really expected to be moved by the movie, given all the good things I’ve heard about it. But it was long, and slow, and just so heavy-handed and grim. It was so far from what I expect from Ang Lee that I was shocked - his other movies have had a light touch even when dealing with heavy subject matter, but this just came across as forced and emotionally manipulative. It was not a short movie, but they still hardly managed to depict any scenes at all in which Jack and Ennis were, you know, happy together. It had to happen at some point, right?

And Ennis was so unlikable that it made the romance with Jack completely unbelievable - what could Jack possibly have seen in him? It simply wasn’t believable that somehow Jack would fall in love with the guy and stay in love with him for years, nor was it believable that Ennis would somehow attract a wife and later on that waitress. It was impossible for me to feel drawn into the love story at all - I simply can’t suspend my disbelief enough to imagine that all those people would be hanging off of Ennis when he was at his best completely emotionally absent and much of the time so casually cruel. You have to imagine that at some point he must have had sort of tender moments with his wife or with Jack, but for some reason none of those moments were shown onscreen. I can’t imagine what the reasoning behind that was - it felt emotionally cheap, like an easy way to make the movie seem “powerful” to audience members who don’t have much discernment. The other Ang Lee films I’ve seen were exactly the opposite - complex, layered, and often showing sort of broken people but bringing out their humanity. In this case he just seems to have lost his touch completely.

Uck. It felt like a movie deliberately calculated to be an Oscar winner rather than a good movie done as a labor of love. That kind of unremitting grimness tends to impress a lot of people, but it doesn’t make for anything I would consider a good movie.

It had pretty cinematography, though.

He’s already engaged before we meet the character, so it’s understandable that we don’t see any courtship-type moments between Ennis and her. As for between Ennis and Jack, there’s the aforementioned “asleep on your feet” flashback scene, there’s the scene where the boss spies on them while they’re horsing around, their reunion scene and probably others that aren’t leaping to mind. Yes, Ennis is emotionally withdrawn. That’s kind of the point. He’s been conditioned not to be emotionally open, especially when it comes to his relationships with men. His father took him to see the gay man who was dragged to death by his genitals, and that sight has shaped how he’s responded emotionally ever since. “If this thing…takes ahold of us at the wrong place…the wrong time…we’re dead.” If Ennis weren’t so emotionally crippled then he and Jack could have made a life together, which is why it’s a tragedy.

What can I say? Your loss. I think it’s more the type of movie: slow, languid, and quiet, that people who didn’t like it didn’t like. There are a lot of movies like it that I love that most people would call “boring.” The Ennis character is so fascinating precisely because he’s so closed off.

The sex scene is forced because both characters are intensely afraid and excited.

Overall, I don’t agree with you, but I do see your point. I think you’re right that some people are just glad that there IS a “gay movie” at all. Maybe years from now this will be looked at as groundbreaking, but not spectacular. As in, “movies about gay characters are so commonplace now that Brokeback Mountain doesn’t seem special to us anymore, but back in the early 21st century, it was more unusual.”

It reminds me of my English teacher in 9th grade trying to explain what the big deal was about “Catcher in the Rye” because many kids (myself included) were like, “I don’t get it - what’s so great about this book?”

Please don’t let this turn into a two-page Catcher in the Rye hijack.

You shouldn’t have believed all the hype. Went I went to see it, I was hoping it wouldn’t be dreadful, because when the straight main-stream audience decides it likes a “gay movie” it usually is dreadful. Especially when straight male actors try to act gay. :rolleyes:

It did look better on the big screen.

Could you describe some of the great swaths where nothing happened? I bet a few of us could clue you in on the “action” you were missing. Much of the action is quite subtle. A shuffle of feet. A glance. An almost glance. This movie speaks volumes by showing us the ways in which people never say a thing.

You’re thinking straight, as it were. You want to see chemistry between two people destined for love. It didn’t often work that way in those days. Quite often, it doesn’t work that way these days. Two men who may be homosexual but themselves aren’t sure they’re homosexual, aren’t going to show much in the way of chemistry you expect in straight love stories. Even if it’s a straight love story about forbidden love, as long as it’s heterosexual the writers & directors are free to show you lots of little sexual tension clues. The admiring slave with the high society white woman. The shy Indian girl and the whacky wolf-dancing white soldier, etc, etc.

That’s not how it worked in Ennis & Jack’s world. “Chemistry” with a man was unthinkable. It got you killed. One scene I found interesting was when Jack was doing rodeo and tried to have a little “chemistry” with the rodeo clown. You saw how quickly that was both sensed, and abruptly & rudely rebuffed.

Maybe Ennis was expected to show a bit more chemistry with his wife. It’s a problem for gay male couples even today. Men aren’t raised to be tender & all romantical with each other.

Which flashback scene? The one where Jack dies? It’s deliberately left open to interpretation. What did it confirm for you?

Well, that’s ok.

Well, Ennis was the “strong silent type” I guess, but Jack was the not so wild type who definitely did want to settle down.

Most people I speak to seem to think this is a good love story and the fact it’s two men is almost unimportant - except it’s necessary for the particular type of tragic love story being told here. Were it a man & woman I think most of us would figure if they really loved each other, love would somehow conquer all. Aw, wouldn’t that be all sweet & precious & shit. If this were a story of a man & woman it would be boring because it’s unrealistic that a man & woman in love can’t somehow work it out. Circumstances would have to be way more complicated. This love story didn’t have to be very complicated. It was quite simple really. We’re two guys.

Well, thank God there are people like you for whom a non-sterotypical gay male relationship is a ho-hum happenstance. But if you have non-stereotypical views of Blacks, couldn’t you still be moved by a well done slavery movie? This movie reminds us, no matter how desensitized by all our happy normal gay friends, that love between men was not always gay parades & the HGTV channel.

Still isn’t, for most gays & lesbians the whole world over.

I liked the movie, and after reading some of the posts here (especially levdrakon’s), I like it even more.

I wanted them to work something out. Maybe they wouldn’t have stayed together forever, but they weren’t even allowed to try. Ennis’s fear kept them apart. He shouldn’t have had to be afraid. That’s just so sad, it hurts to think about it.

I didn’t like it. I don’t like melodrama. All the stupid music swells of that same stupid song.

It does have one great scene. Whe Ennis goes to Jack’s parents and he is in Jack’s old room.

I’ve mentioned before I’ve seen the movie. I just wasn’t impressed with it. It was OK, but I felt the hype may have set me up for a higher expectation than it delivered.

I guess in some ways the movie was needed as it will open the doors to more films with an overall theme involving male homosexuality. Female homosexuality has been done many times already, though not in films up for Best Picture.

Somebody has to break ground (again), and this is as good a movie to do it with.

Whether anyone wants to call it homophobia or not, the movie just wasn’t good enough to change minds, which IMO is what it was designed to do.

Say what you want about me, and I’m not slamming the movie, overall what it seems to have been inspired to do fell short.

It was an OK story (though a bit generic), filmed well enough to get some buzz, but ultimately fell short of what it aimed to be. Certainly not a bust, but far short of what it was meant to be.

I found the relationships of Jack and Ennis with their wives to be more interesting than their relationship with each other.

My take: blargh. I started it a few weeks ago and got about 45 minutes into it, turned it off, tried to finish it tonight, made it through about 15 more minutes, and I’ve given up.

I love a good romance, and I’m not turned off by slow-moving films (Tarkovsky is my favorite director, after all), but this movie just didn’t interest me at all.

Okay, that makes sense. I did like the scene at Jack’s parents’ house, I thought those two actors did a really great job of subtly hinting at how they knew about, and accepted, their son. In fact, I liked a lot of the supporting characters in this film, it was mostly Ennis that I couldn’t connect with. I certainly do hope that this is only the beginning of a string of mainstream gay movies and that eventually they won’t be seen as something groundbreaking or original. Maybe this is just the “starter” mainstream gay movie.

I guess I didn’t like it for the same reason I don’t like any slow movies with strong emphasis on the setting. I didn’t like Lord of the Rings either, same reason.

I thought it was just an OK film. Quite frankly, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. These guys were victims of bad timing. They found each other in a time in history where gay relationships just weren’t tolerated. And they weren’t strong enough to buck the prevailing societal norms. End of story. Sad, yes. Groundbreaking, no. And I thought Heath Ledger stunk. (Or is it stank?)