The Boyfriend of the Week

December 5, 1999

For the last few weeks, I've been featuring a lot of the same kinds of guys here. Good-looking, young actors with nice smiles and cute butts. It's been fun, too! And not very much work, either. This week, though, it's time to take a little break from the eye-candy, which is not to say I don't think this week's Boyfriend is good-looking. He is. But in a more grown-up kinda way.

Just to prove to you that this week's write-up is deep instead of shallow, let me just tell you that I didn't even know what Ang Lee looked like until I tracked down the above photo of him. Didn't know if he had a nice smile OR a cute butt. But I've always liked his work and, over the holidays, saw a preview for his next movie and was reminded of him. If you don't recognize the name, I'm sure you'll recognize some of the films he's directed. How about "The Wedding Banquet"? "Sense and Sensibility" (featuring two ex-Boyfriends, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant)? Or maybe "The Ice Storm" (starring ex-Boyfriend Kevin Kline -- hmmmm, are we noticing any trends here?). Quite obviously, Ang Lee has great taste in actors. But even better, he makes a beautiful picture, and that's really what puts him up here today.

Of all the Ang Lee films I've seen, my favorite was definitely "The Ice Storm." No, wait, it was "Sense and Sensibility." No, wait, it was "The Wedding Banquet." Oh, crud, I can see this isn't going to get us anywhere. Let's do all three, one at a time. "The Ice Storm" was his most recent, I believe. It was about a couple of families in America in the 70's and all the wacky sexual dysfunctions they all had. Did I use the word "wacky"? It's totally not wacky at all. It's a pretty heavy movie, actually. The kids are all screwed up and so are their parents. But it's definitely one of the most visually striking films I've seen in a long time. The actual ice storm is simply incredible. It made me long for New England, even though when I was there, ice storms were the bane of my existence.

"The Wedding Banquet" was one of Ang's earlier movies, and is the first one of his that I ever saw. It's half in English and half in Chinese and is about a Chinese man living in America with his white American boyfriend. His parents, who don't know he's gay, keep trying to set him up with Chinese women and it's driving him nuts. So, he gets a Chinese woman he knows in America to agree to marry him -- she'll get a green card (he's an American citizen) and he'll get his parents off his back. The only problem is that as soon as his parents find out about his wife-to-be, they jump on a plane and fly to America for the wedding! Disaster! It's very funny and, like all Ang Lee movies, there's something about it visually that is very striking. Loved it!

I'm sure you've seen "Sense and Sensibility," so I don't need to get into that one. It was pretty mainstream. But, again, visually impressive. In fact, EXTREMELY visually impressive -- especially whenever Alan Rickman happened to be on-screen. If you haven't seen it, you should rent it. In fact, you should really have yourself a little Ang Lee festival some night and rent all three. They're very very different films, but it's really kind of remarkable how alike they are. It's not the content or the tone or the settings that are alike -- it's whatever it is that Ang Lee does with all those. Truly remarkable.

And THAT'S why he's my Boyfriend this week.

MacGyver Factor Score: 96.8%. Don't ask questions; just accept it.

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