Monday, August 8, 2016

A Different Story (1978)

This highly problematic rom-com offers a textbook example of how iffy politics can derail a movie that shouldn’t have been political in the first place. The story of a gay man and a lesbian becoming a straight couple, A Different Story has the unintended effect of marginalizing homosexuality as a phase some young people pass through on the way to adulthood. To describe that implication as repulsive is to make a gross understatement. Yet nothing about A Different Story feels didactic or mean-spirited, so one fears the filmmakers were simply ignorant of the statement they were making. In some ways, that’s worse than deliberately belittling an entire class of people. Anyway, it’s not as if there’s a great movie buried inside A Different Story, and that all one need do is detach from political correctness long enough to enjoy the story. Even setting aside its treatment of human sexuality, A Different Story is mediocre at best. The characterizations are clichéd and superficial; the storytelling is choppy, with some scenes drifting off into nothing; and the plot is as hackneyed as bad episode of a sitcom. After kept boy Albert (Perry King) gets dumped by his wealthy lover, his casual friend Stella (Meg Foster) says he can crash on her couch. He cooks fancy meals and tidies the place, so she extends her hospitality. Discovering that Albert has immigration issues (he’s a Belgian national), Stella suggests a green-card marriage. They wed. Later, they sleep together, thinking it a one-time event until Stella learns she’s pregnant. She dumps her on-again/off-again girlfriend, and then Albert and Stella fall into the bickering rhythms of a generic movie marriage. He spends too much time at the office! She’s stuck at home all day with the baby! Yawn. Foster and King render professional but undistinguished work, while director Paul Aaron orchestrates the whole middling affair in similarly bland fashion. It’s all so enervated and false that the only quirky thing in the picture is a sidecar motorcycle.

A Different Story: LAME

1 comment:

greg6363 said...

The movie that killed Perry King's big screen career.