Sunday, March 20, 2016

834. My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho
1991
Directed by Gus Van Sant








Everyone always criticizes Keanu Reeves for his acting ability, but he was pretty outstanding in this.  And in Dangerous Liaisons and The Matrix, he was...fine.  So see?  Point proven.

Mike is a gay prostitute, whose "services" are sometimes interrupted by fits of narcolepsy.  Thankfully, he is often aided by his friend Scott.  Scott is also a prostitute, even though he has a rich inheritance to fall back on.  Presumably, he wants to piss off his father, although he might have taken the whole "adolescent angst" bit a little too far.  Mike yearns to find his mother, who he often dreams about, and Scott agrees to help him look.

This is an odd movie.  At times, it seems quite normal, but then the director would do something strange, like having the magazine covers talk to the audience.  It could have felt uneven, but it ultimately worked for me.  Apparently, it was inspired by Henry IV and you can definitely see Shakespearean qualities in the characters.

My only complaint is the ending, as it broke my heart but I can't really blame the filmmakers for that.  Still, I just wish that for once a gay couple in a movie could have a happy ending.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

River Phoenix wrote the campfire scene.

For the American video release, the front cover of the jacket showed River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves both with women, in order to market it as a straight film.

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