Monday, November 19, 2007

Literary Gay Books Become Straight Stories on Screen

Remember Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? It was a nonfiction book written by journalist John Berendt. I knew the author was gay because of the sensibility of the book. The gayness of the journalist was a non-issue, but it wasn't inconsequential either. His sexuality was omitted from the movie.

Well, now there is a movie called Martian Child. I thought that title sounded familiar. Then I remembered that Martian Child by David Gerrold and my first novel Letters to Montgomery Clift were finalists for the Lambda Literary Award in 2002. (The winner was At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'neil.)

Martian Child is a novel about a gay dad who adopts a kid. Um, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I understand the gay identity part was left out of the movie. Ironically, John Cusack (above) played the lead in both movies. Maybe John Cusack has a straight, but underlying gay sensibility about him.


Peter Varvel said...

Wow, I kind of feel cheated, in a way . . . But on the positive side, you've made me want to read the books!

Rich said...

Do the authors of these/any novels have a say in this, or is the allure of getting their novel turned into a movie too much? (yeah, I should have such problems!)

What would you do, Noel?

Prince Gomolvilas said...

If this is true, IT BURNS MY BLOOD!

Cheryl said...

And how much do you want to bet that if anyone involved with the movie is willing to give them interviews, the gay press will gush anyway?

Pete said...

This is very frustrating. I can't imagine how an author would feel about this. When they make a movie out of your first novel, Noel, maybe they'll make Monty straight! :)

Actually, I understand the forthcoming "Mysteries of Pittsburgh" movie based on Michael Chabon's first novel combines two of the main male characters into one, thus eliminating the gay character. But that was the whole story! I don't know when it's coming out, but the book will always be better--which is true in most cases anyway.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving all.


Don Cummings said...

Hollywood, with its bottom line economics, will yank the homo out of anything. They're businessmen. You sell your light-touch homo book to a studio, you make our gay Jesus weep.
John Cusack wants to sleep with men, I'm sure...but he's just too busy working.
Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for bloggers.

Liz said...

I love John Cusack since he's from where I'm from, but it is very interesting that he's in both of these movies. I wonder why he doesn't say, "Hey, that's not the way this book really goes down!"