So I was in this movie once. It was a small gay indie produced in Dallas called It’s in the Water (1997). In it, residents of a small Texas town fear that their water supply was turning its people gay, which, today, sounds like a headline espoused by Tucker Carlson.
I played Dyke #2 in IITW. Sadly, my lines were cut and the only evidence that I was ever part of the cast is in the credits. That’s show biz.
Amid the film’s reliance on stereotypical redneck humor, one of the funnier scenes features Dyke #1, a video store customer checking out a sizable stack of popular lesbian movie titles of the day — Desert Hearts, Go Fish, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing. All the pre-Carol biggies.
For the benefit of younger STAR readers, video stores were popular, late 20th century retail hubs of contemporary culture that rented out movies. Kind of like a library, but the late fees were steeper, and librarians almost never request that their patrons “Be kind, rewind.”
Libraries are buildings where people can check out books for a specific period of time.
Books are…. Oh, never mind.
In Dyke #1’s stack of film selections were The Godfather. That got one of the biggest laughs of the whole movie.
It’s funny because it’s true.
But why? What is it about a 50-year old movie whose protagonists commit atrocities of all kinds ranging from murder to spousal abuse to drug trafficking to wearing white after Labor Day?
There’s little I love more than staying in on a cold, gray, rainy evening plopped on the couch, neck-deep in the three movies that make up The Godfather saga. The height of my GF indulgence is achieved with the accompanying aroma of a rich marinara sauce simultaneously simmering on the stove. Heck, GF1 even provides an authentic recipe for the sauce.
If I’ve watched it once, I’ve watched all three installments a hundred times — no exaggeration. It’s a cinematic sacrament at the residence of Dyke #2. Imagine my horror and disbelief when my Far Better Half (heretofore referred to as FBH), told me that she’d never seen it. How could this be? The love of my life who knows my every secret, my every desire, and proclivity, the woman with whom my soul, intellect, and humor are most tightly intertwined had never experienced the greatest achievement in cinematic history since — well, since ever.
The music! The drama! The symbolism! Diana Keaton before she had her teeth fixed! What’s not to love?
I approached FBH’s introduction to the Corleone family with the same giddiness that a child feels at Christmas — appropriate since a spirited discussion soon ensued over whether The Godfather is a Christmas movie. I say of course it is, based on the hospital scene replete with Christmas music, twinkling lights, and Michael and Kay bustling through the snow with their arms full of wrapped gifts. FBH says no because — and I quote — “Don’t be ridiculous.” We also (ahem) disagree about Die Hard being a Christmas movie. Again I say, of course, it is. Fight me.
I ticked off the days until we had a free, uninterrupted evening when we could watch The GF undisturbed. When that glorious evening finally arrived, I slid two of our favorite pizzas into the oven (HEB’s Midtown brand, btw; the crust is squisito), then slid my DVD of the special 30th-anniversary edition and pressed play.
Quicker than you can say “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes,” we were swept away to Connie and Carlo’s wedding.
We watched The Godfather on Presidents Day. Everyone knows there is no better day to go to the mattresses than Presidents Day. We wondered if Clemenza and Rocco went discount shopping for 10 or 20 Tempur-Pedics after they snuffed out Paulie.
FBH noticed a fine detail in a scene that had never occurred to me. When Clemenza orders Paulie to pull the car over to the side of a remote wheat field — those “amber waves of grain” so sought after by mid-20th century immigrants to America like the Corleone family — so he can take a leak. Clemenza then exits the car and relieves himself as Paulie takes two pops to the back of the head. That wind was making the amber grain wave, blowing back on the portly cannoli enthusiast. Is this author Mario Puzo’s ultimate message of the whole series — that finding success in a life of crime is about as productive as pissing into the wind?
Probably not. Still, FBH’s observation was pretty astute for a first-timer. And thank the lord, she concluded she did indeed like The Godfather, though not enough to merit a re-watch.
That’s OK. There are lots of other lesbian movies we can enjoy together.