Wow! Plano! Frank Rich predicts big heartland B.O. for "Brokeback," with "millions of moviegoers soon to swoon over the star-crossed gay cowboys."
But I'll rashly predict that the big Hollywood question posed on the front page of The Los Angeles Times after those stunning weekend grosses -- ''Can 'Brokeback Mountain' Move the Heartland?'' -- will be answered with a resounding yes. All the signs of a runaway phenomenon are present, from an instant parody on ''Saturday Night Live'' to the report that a multiplex in Plano, Tex., sold more advance tickets for the so-called ''gay cowboy picture'' than for ''King Kong.'' ... The X factor is that the film delivers a story previously untold by A-list Hollywood. It's a story America may be more than ready to hear a year after its president cynically flogged a legally superfluous (and unpassable) constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage for the sole purpose of whipping up the basest hostilities of his electoral base. [Emph. added]
"We're sick of this damned President, so we want to see cowboys make love."
P.P.S.: You're So Wrong You're Right! But Rich's prediction is clear-eyed realism compared with the cocooned-within-the-cocoon argument I heard at an L.A. party last weekend--that everyone's so liberated when it comes to homosexuality that "Brokeback" is arriving decades too late to be a hit. (Didn't Lonesome Cowboys come out in 1967!) ... P.P.P.S.: Will that be Rich's fallback if/when the movie's box office disappoints? No, he's not that crazy. He's more likely to blame the studio's timid hide-the-homosexuality marketing campaign. ... 3:25 P.M.
Am I crazy or has the L.A. Times front page gotten much livelier since Dean Baquet took over? The paper now reliably fronts one, two, or even three pieces you actually want to read--pieces that aren't available in the New York Times. Even when the stories don't totally deliver the goods (and Sunday's big Scientology piece buries many of the best details) it's refreshing to be disappointed! ... New Page One editor John Arthur is said to not share the usual LAT twittish sensibilities. ... P.S.: This should alert civic-minded Angelenos to the grave danger that Baquet will do an excellent job, prolonging the Times' monopolistic death grip and preventing viable alternatives from emerging. ... 1:19 A.M.
Is The Fire Out? In a significant disappointment, Hon. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has failed to match the standard of Congressional dignity she set in her holiday card last year. But it's close! ... 4:43 P.M.
We all have our bubbles: From the NYT's Wednesday columnist pages--
OP-ED COLUMNIST W. Won't Read ThisBy MAUREEN DOWDPublished: December 14, 2005
Never ask a guy who's in a bubble if he's in a bubble. He can't answer.
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