Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gay Marketing

AOL ran an article today discussing the 'Valentine's Day' trailer and how it eroneously omitted the relationship between Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane's characters.  Claiming that it was wrong to do so. 

I understand the argument... which can be two-fold.  First, it is somewhat false advertising.  False advertising may be a bit harsh, it is more like half-truth advertising.  Although the article would have you believe the former... because apparently we the audience should believe Cooper and Julia Roberts are linked because they are sitting next to each other on a plane.  Secondly, and the one I'm sure they're more pissed about, the gay storyline is the one that got omitted from the trailer.  What if he wound up with some other chick, would they be writing an article about how Cooper's storyline wasn't in the trailer and this was misleading to audiences?  Clearly they believe that society is at a point where gay men and women should be accepted, and not only accepted but embraced. 

This is ridiculous on a few levels.  The reality is that they are just not as accepted across America as they would like.  I don't agree with this, as a person's sexuality is exactly that - theirs.  Who cares who someone else is sleeping with or decides to fall in love with?  Unfortunately, a lot of people do.  Acceptance has come a long way, but we're just not there yet. 

Straight men just absoultely, 100% do not care about nor want to see homosexuality portrayed onscreen in a romantic comedy.  Being accepting of homosexuality and embracing it are not the same thing.  So, of course the studio is going to downplay this aspect of the film.  It may very well be the most intriguing and interesting relationship in the film. That is all well and good, but it will not sell tickets.  It will only hurt box office. 

We make movies to make money.  When you are lucky enough to make a film, you have an obligation to that film and whoever finances it to get as many eyeballs on the film as you possibly can - and that usually means putting forth the most effective marketing campaign (or trying to at least).  Anyone that is doing this strictly for art is either fabulously wealthy or obscenely poor.  And chances are they are making movies no one will ever see.  That is not a judgement on them or their films.  It is just an honest opinion.

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