Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
 
To Patrick Swayze, Thanks for Everything! Wong Foo

Maybe this weekend you and your significant other are heading over to the video rental store to rent a Patrick Swayze movie, in memoriam. You'll argue whether to take a chick flick like Dirty Dancing or Ghost, or a guy movie like Point Break. And you'll find that all of these are already gone, because everybody has the same idea when an actor dies. So maybe I can recommend you what I think is the best Patrick Swayze movie: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. It is an intelligent and funny movie, which makes you think. Maybe not everybody *wants* to think when going to the movies, especially not about difficult things like gender issues and tolerance, but I'd say that forcing you to think generally makes for better films.

The opening scene with Patrick Swayze is a classic: He comes out of the shower, a perfect image of masculinity, and then step by step through clothes and makeup transforms into a drag queen. The film then evolves into a road movie, a fish out of the water story, with the drag queens stuck in a small town, chased by a homophobic sheriff. The movie teaches us about the difference between just looking away and true tolerance, and that alone makes it worth watching. Add some superb acting from actors you wouldn't expect in those kind of roles, and you get a truly superb movie. Recommended!
Comments:
I'm actually done with all this man/woman gay and homo stuff. Pirates are somehow gay nowadays, designers claim thattrue beauty is a person that's neither man nor woman.

I love cute, beautiful woman and I stopped laughing about these childish gay jokes some years ago, I fear. If a man transforms into a woman this makes for not-cute and ugly woman; and I don't enjoy looking at them.

That's, of course, just my opinion. So, if I misunderstood your description about the movie (without watching it :), then please excuse this comment.

If you belong to the vast majority who think that these gender games are extremely funny - please ignore this comment and have fun watching the movie :)

[I actually really liked Dirty Dancing when i first watched in some .. twenty yeras ago. Must have been one of the very first love stories I ever watched on television. :]
 
Wolverines!

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Rest in peace Patrick. Even in death I am not sure if I can forgive you for the movies I was forced to sit through in squirming embarrassment while the woman I was dating ogled you on the screen.

The impact of Swayze on women of a certain age (and by consequence men of a certain age) cannot be underestimated. We still have a potters wheel in our garden shed thanks to Ghost.
 
So many of our idols are dieing this year.... :\ RIP Patrick Swayze.
 
I was truly saddened to hear of his death yesterday. He is one of the greats of my generation and it's a sad day indeed now that he's gone.

I would also like to applaud you Tobold for mentioning Too Wong Foo. As a gay man, this was one of the first Hollywood movies portraying the topics of gender identity and was very influential to me.

The acting is great, the story heartfelt, and (to those in the know) seeing Stockard Channing in a blood red wedding gown was just teh awesome! Thanks again for all you bring to the blogosphere.
 
@Nils

its been a while since I saw this movie (I really should pick it up again, because its worth it, if only for the acting)

but its not about being funny by dressing up like a woman, its not "Some like it hot" - its about your identity, preconceived motions and acceptance. From family, from strangers, from yourself. its about stereotypes and blowing them out of the water.

there are some funny moments, there are some cringy "oh god, its so embarrassing, I cannot watch" moments, and there are some sad, poignant moments.

its well worth watching and it was the movie that made me respect Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo as actors.
 
RIP Patrick Swayze. To Wong Foo was hysterical. I loved that movie.
 
Just an FYI - that movie is a Hollywood remake of an Aussie movie "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". The original is superior (yes, I've seen both).
 
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