Friday, March 21, 2008

Eleven Men Out: A Review

Watching Eleven Men Out on DVD is the first time I have heard Icelandic spoken for any length of time. They roll their r’s and lack the sing-song of Swedish and blend sounds like the Danes and suck breath like all the Scandinavians.

I’m tempted to go on with the language. God knows there is nothing else to say about the movie except that if this is Iceland, they can have it. What a wretched look into a society, into a family of messed up people, into retrograde homophobia and immature sexuality and dysfunctional everybody and his brother.

The story line would be interesting if the dialogue and the characters were not dull to the core. Gay football star Óttar is yesterday’s news, so he outs himself to get on the front of a magazine cover. After which his mother takes to her bed, his father thinks it’s all about him, his wife, once Miss Iceland, now a drunken slut gets drunker and sluttier, his 13-year old son gets laid with the sweet daughter (“Wanna fuck? There’s nothing else to do here.”) of the slutty Cambodian bar hostess who runs a café with a dancing pole in an Icelandic village (Raufarhöfn, if I remember right, on the Arctic Circle, and the daughter wasn’t kidding). The son then gets drunk and totals a car – and we’re just getting warm.

Oh, yeah. And Óttar gets kicked off the team.

And gets taken in by another gay ex-football hero who asks him to come hang out with his team because there is a gay guy on it. So he goes and with no further ado they get it on and this doesn’t work and more gay guys join the team and Óttar finds a way to get them to play his father’s team (the one he got kicked off of) and gay pride comes to town just then and mother decides to sit in his rooting section and drags his father with her (there is absolutely no indication why she changed her mind) and they lose the game and that’s the end of the movie.

Icelandic has two interdentals (“th” sounds, one voiceless like the th in thick and one voiced like the th in then, and has these wonderful old ways of writing them – þ and ð respectively.

The letter z isn’t used any more, except by the newspaper Morgunblaðið.

What else can I say? Movie made for gays who will watch anything if it has full-frontal shower scenes.

Once you realize that too is a bust, watch the extras on the Out Gay Games in Montreal and Chicago. You won’t feel the rental was a total waste of time and money.

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