I had avoided seeing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel because the trailer looked so awful, but it’s a hit, so I checked it out and found it pretty charming (except for the young couple’s love story and all the platitudes).
It’s basically Enchanted April, Cocoon, and Love Actually meet Slumdog Millionaire on the road to A Passage To India, if you get my drift, but amusingly done.
And there’s a gay character.
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
The excellent Tom Wilkinson (In The Bedroom, Michael Clayton) plays him, and he turns out to be another of those screen gays that dies.
[Think Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, Colin Firth, Christopher Plummer, etc. etc.]
This character is a retired British judge who is gay “in theory more than in practice.”
He’s terribly rusty at it, in fact.
See, he ages ago had a male lover in India, but they got caught and that caused trouble, sending both into lives of self-denial.
And now Tom has come back to India for one last chance to find the guy, which he does, giving him a big old hug as the wife looks on bitterly.
Having done what he set out to do–in between telling everyone for miles “I’m gay”–Tom promptly croaks.
Oh, well. At least he dies happy (and out).
And at least his plotline is a comment on the poignancy of the closet.
But still. Give us some gay men that live, movieland!
Lord knows every other character gets to not only find happiness, but to continue breathing in order to enjoy it.