LionsGate Picks Up “Gay Dude”

LionsGate Films has just started a new
“micro-budget” film division to produce movies
with budgets no larger than two million dollars. According to their press press
release
 they have already greenlit three projects. Here’s
the one that caught our eye…

GAY DUDE is a coming of age
comedy in the vein of SUPERBAD. Best friends Matty and Michael decide to lose
their virginity before graduating from high school, but their quest takes an
unexpected turn when Matty tells Michael he’s gay. What follows is a funny,
heartfelt story about friendship, prejudice, love, and the trials and triumphs
of growing up.”

Turns
out the Gay Dude script has been
floating around Hollywood
for several years now. It was even on the 2008 Black List
(an annual listing of the
most popular unproduced scripts in Hollywood.) The writer is Alan Yang,
who worte for The Harvard Lampoon while a student there, previously worked on South
Park
and now writes for Parks & Recreation.

Some people are groaning a bit about “Gay Dude” as a title — filmstage.com
thinks it sounds “stupid” — but I sort of like it for the name of a movie. I think it
gets a lot across in two words.

First, obviously, there’s a gay character involved. Second,
since “gay dude” is something you’d most often hear from young
straight guys, it advertises a point of view and immediately announces who the target audience is.

I’ve had a chance to read the script, and it lives up to its working title. One of the lead characters, Matty, is gay, but the main point of view and primary story arc belongs to his straight best friend Michael. The story takes place between high school and college and, like Superbad, there’s a lot of crude humor sure to make many people cringe.

But still, the script shows some real heart, particularly when it briefly gets serious towards the end and tries to convey — presumably to a straight audience — the difficulties and dangers closeted gay teens face when coming out to their friends and family.

While this screenplay has some positive messaging that the GLBT community would probably be happy to see on the big screen, it doesn’t really feel like a “gay” movie to me. It feels like a standard teen comedy for mainstream audiences that has the novelty of a likeable main gay character.

I have no idea if scriptwriter Yang is himself gay, but somehow I doubt it (not that it really matters). Most of the dialog — even from the main gay character — has a very jocular, straight dude feel to it. Actually, I kept imagining many of the lines being read by Parks & Recreation‘s Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) — and that was before I even realized Yang is a writer on that show.

MATTY
I’m a gay dude. I am a gay.

MICHAEL
Like gay gay, like dicks and butts gay,
or like retarded gay, like “Man, Indiana
Jones 4 was gay”?

I won’t go into details on the plot, but if you want the motherload of spoilers you can always just go read the entire Gay Dude script. It’s online here. Of course, this draft is probably four to five years old now, so clearly it’s going to need at least one more rewrite to update the pop culture references. While they are at it, here’s hoping they reign in at least some of the sex-obsessed, juvenile humor. Make it more Rushmore, less Porkys 2?

At any rate, this film will arrive in theaters in 2012. For my part I’m cautiously optimistic about the project. But then I really liked Superbad and Judd Apatow-ish films generally.

If you do happen to read the script, let us know in the comments what you think and maybe offer some suggestions on how it could be improved upon. Who knows, maybe LionsGate would welcome the feedback.

 

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