"Are you there yet?" Josh K. asked.
"Am I at the theater yet? No."
"Oh man, you sound grumpy."
"Jesus Christ, I am grumpy! Remember how in New York you can't get a cab in the rain? So I'm trudging across town to get to this fucking movie and I think I'm going to be late, and it's opening night and I really, really want to see it."
"So who're you going with?"
"Nobody," I said.
"Matthew cancelled, Dylan is in Hawaii on business, Kirsten said she needed a night in 'cause she's been out on the town every night, and I didn't think this would be Kris's scene, so I'm going alone."
"Yeah, definitely. I wish we were seeing it together."
I trudged the rest of the way to the theater on East Houston Street and saw a line of gays stretching down the street. Once inside the theater I peered around at the extreme variety of gay men in attendance, from those with pierced lips and spiky hair in skinny jeans, to the forty-something guys with the big arms and buzzed heads. Most of them came in couples, but some came in groups of friends. I felt a bit conspicuous being alone, but I sucked up my pride and found a seat.
Before the movie started, a middle-aged guy wearing only a Speedo and black cape walked into front of the screen and flashed everybody.
Par for the course in Manhattan.
The movie itself was wonderful. Josh and I had heard about the film being made years ago, back when we were both undergraduates in Minneapolis, and we said, "We have to see that as soon as it comes out." We're both huge fans of John Cameron Mitchell's first film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (If you haven't seen it, get thee to a Blockbuster with haste and rent the damn film. It's amazing.)
Shortbus, as you may have read, contains sexually explicit material (so much so that it's not rated), but it becomes clear as soon as the movie starts that it's really not about the sex at all. It's a movie that just happens to have graphic sexual scenes. Yes, there is male and female frontal nudity, yes you see actual erections, and yes, you actually even see orgasms, but it's interesting because it's really not a big deal. More than anything, the movie is about the intricate relationships between the characters.
The movie is a consumate pleasure. If it's playing in your town, go see it. If it's playing in a town nearby, get your friends and pile in a car and see it. It'll give you and your significant other and/or amigos plenty to talk about.
After the movie I went a few blocks north to a bar called The C*ck, where I met my friend Matthew, and went inside. As we were entering the bar the movie's two male leads, P.J. DeBoy and Paul Dawson, walked in behind us. When I walked inside John Cameron Mitchell, shorter than I imagined and rather attractive, stood to my right. The bar filled rapidly for a brief musical performance by a few cast members.
Before the performance I saw P.J. DeBoy walking around and decided to say a quick hello. Josh K. met P.J. a few months ago, before Josh had any idea P.J. was in the movie, and I went up to P.J. to say hello for Joshie K.
"Oh my God, you're from Josh & Josh!" P.J. said, giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. "I love your blog." I was totally taken aback because I had just seen him in this incredible movie, and he knew my name and face. I was humbled because it was I who wanted to approcah him and say, "Oh my God, your movie kicked ass!" I told him that of course, and chatted for a few minutes, before finding Matthew and settling in to watch the brief show.
It was a pretty cool night.
If you're looking to see a movie this week, get on the Shortbus.
Check out the Shortbus official website.