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August 04, 2009

Brokeback Baker Street: Robert Downey Jr./Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes Movie I've Been Anticipating Will Feature Strong Homoerotic Undertones

Yeahp, just what a straight man wants to see in his friggin' popcorn movies.

GUY Ritchie's plan to put a gay spin on the relationship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in his new movie about the detective and his sidekick could backfire.

Robert Downey Jr, who plays Holmes, has revealed the crimebuster will sleep with and have sweaty grappling scenes with Watson, played by Jude Law, in "Sherlock Holmes," due out Christmas Day.

"We're two men who happen to be roommates, wrestle a lot and share a bed. It's bad-ass," Downey told Britain's News of the World. Added much-in-the-news Law: "Guy wanted to make this about the relationship between Watson and Holmes. They're both mean and complicated."

But Michael Medved, a former Post movie critic, says Downey and Law must be joking. "There's not a seething, bubbling hunger to see straight stars impersonating homosexuals," Medved told us. "I think they're just trying to generate controversy . . . They know that making Holmes and Watson homosexual will take away two-thirds of their box office. Who is going to want to see Downey Jr. and Law make out? I don't think it would be appealing to women. Straight men don't want to see it."

Yeah, maybe he's joking, or maybe it's in there, but just briefly.

I don't know. Robert Downey Jr. isn't doing the movie any favors with this joke, if it is a joke. I anticipate a full-media blitz of a walkback in 24 hours.

Incidentally, this isn't new at all. Billy Wilder's The Secret Private Life of Sherlock Holmes promised a look a Holmes' supposed homosexuality. It must have been very subtle, or substantially edited out of the film, because I missed it entirely and didn't even know about it until I saw mention of this angle on Wikipedia.

And Saturday Night Live did a spoof about this. And I'm sure they weren't first.

Regarding The Two Living Together: First up, this was an economic decision. Holmes was just out of university with his kooky idea of being the world's first and only "Consulting Detective," and Watson was on pension, back from Afghanistan with a crippled (or impaired) arm and without a job. They didn't shack up because they liked each other. They were introduced by a mutual acquaintance who knew Holmes was looking for a roommate and Watson needed a room.

Second of all, they didn't live together very long. Very early in the series Watson married a very rich woman -- and moved out, of course. (Duh.)

The idea they were always living together is pushed by TV and movies, which probably are catering to people who have, maybe, only read the first several stories and expect them to be roommates. Or who only know them from movies and TV shows, and would think it's an "error" if they were depicted as living apart. Catering to ignorance.

I don't even know if most filmed depictions actually specify they're still roommates. They probably skirt the issue entirely by just having Watson present at Holmes' drawing room and never say whether he came in through the front door as a guest or in through a bedroom door as a resident.

Anyway, very annoying.


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posted by Ace at 02:23 PM

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