Elijah’s Ashes (2017)
Don’t be too homophobic to get a prostate exam.
Lawrence is in a job that he seems pretty good at, but unfortunately, he feels like he can’t be himself there. We see him with his boyfriend who doesn’t seem to appreciate him as he says he’s not gay enough (stereotypically speaking). When we find out that his father died, he goes home to people who don’t accept him either. Kinda a running theme. To make matters worse, he has to go on a road trip with his horrifically homophobic half-brother.
Kevin is the half brother who comes off as wholly unlikable. He’s homophobic, inappropriate, and crass. The gay insults he makes are timeworn, and most of them just didn’t strike me as funny. However, credit for using every gay cliché known to mankind. I wasn’t all that drawn to Lawrence either. His personality is constipated except when he gets angry and has some sort of fit.
The film is meant to be over the top. The two brothers are diametrically different in many ways, and they obviously don’t accept each other for who they are. They make this obvious all the way through the entire film. And the homophobic taunts from the brother are so ridiculous and absurd in this day and age it was almost off-putting.
But that was the point I believe. After reading an article by the producer of the film, it makes more sense. He had an experience that demonstrated that homophobia is alive and well, even in this day and age. He says, “I chose to hold up a mirror to these “aggressors” and “oppressors” in this awful equation so they can see just how absurd and ridiculous their homophobic prejudices are.” (Barton-Grimley, 2017) We may think times have changed, and they have, but often not as much as we think.
I applaud and appreciate what the film is trying to do. But I’ll be honest – I didn’t get the film at first, and maybe it’s just not my kind of comedy. As the producer mentioned, it’s dark. But in the end, acceptance may come from where you least expect.
Availability: Amazon VOD
Barton-Grimley, R. (2017, October 13). Why a Straight White Man Made a Comedy About Homophobia. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/10/13/why-straight-white-man-made-comedy-about-homophobia