Bros Can Be Queer Too, Says '4th Man Out' Trailer
It took me longer than it should have to go see Carol, but I finally managed to carve out some free time this weekend for me to get my lesbian romantic cinema groove on. Being the connoisseur of queer cinema that my local cinema assumes me to be, I was treated to this trailer for the upcoming release 4th Man Out.
I literally don’t know how to feel about this trailer. On one hand, I totally and completely understand the absolute and pressing need for more films representing the lives of gay people. And the fact is, there’s probably a lot of dudes in small, working class towns who may indeed be a bit freaked out if one of their buddies came out of the closet. But the thing is, I didn’t see this trailer attached to say, Neighbors 2 or The Revenant. I saw it before Carol, a movie made specifically for an audience already interested in the stories of us queers.
The movie has won audience awards at several LGBT film festivals so it is entirely possible that it’s just a case of a trailer cut to try to appeal to a broader audience, but with this trailer it feels like a PSA, and one being shown to the audience that already “gets it.” It’s like if the trailer for Flight had only been shown to MADD conferences. What likely would have been a really interesting and possibly even edgy movie in 1996 feels like awkward pandering in 2016. When the voice over adds “He needs us, boys!” I nearly lost it in cackles from the theater.
In my cynical mind what I imagine happened is that the marketing team making a push for Carol assumed that the theater is probably half full of really good allies who are at the movie trying to really show their support to their LGBT friends by enduring a beautiful and haunting romance story. “Look,” says the 4th Man Out trailer, “Here’s a whole movie about other allies like you trying to also deal with how gay their friends are! You got this.” And to all us queers in the audience, now we can really get a sample of what it’s like for our allies trying to deal with our coming out. We can relate to them finally and be good allies to our allies.
The only thing I’ll say in defense of this trailer is that at least it’s a bit better than this previous one I found while searching for it, without a lick of dialogue. There’s a few shirtless men dropped in here and there in order to suggest homosexuality about as effectively as the volleyball scene in Top Gun but the overall effort seems to be to make your average 20-something hetero moviegoer think “Hey, a movie about bros just like me and my bros,” only to have the gay plot sprung on them. Which, ironically, would be a pretty good representation for what the movie says it is.
Riley Silverman is a comedian and writer and might possibly be just a little into style and fashion and Doctor Who. You can follow her on Twitter.