Full of Heaven. Directed by Dolph Lundgren, Starring Chester Copperpot, Matt Damon, Ian McDiarmid and Mandy Moore. Edited by Amanda Vacuumhindu. 20th Century Vole, all rights reserved . Hair by Aime Echo. Catering by Wendy’s.
One of the most difficult things to sell the public on is the musical. Musicals require far more willing suspension of disbelief than the average movie goer is willing to engage. Dancing, singing, tap-dancing, choral singing or any other such performance in the middle of ordinary events is hard to swallow. While Hollywood is always pumping out cookie-cutter genre stories (action, comedy, drama) musicals seem just far too enlightened for Middle America. It’s sad that musicals are only popular on cruise ships.
What was most exciting about Full of Heaven is not that it’s a musical, but rather its pure artistic boldness. Through its telling of the story of struggling screenwriter Harold Ramus and his star-crossed lover Dan Makroyd trying to discover their love in the midst of the 1950s McCarthy Hearings, Full of Heaven invites the viewer to critique the hypocrisy of contemporary American society (always a difficult prospect).
As the story begins we learn that Ramus’ latest script, a story about Abraham Lincoln’s obvious but ignored homosexuality, has brought him under the oppression of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Makroyd, the Democratic Representative from Greenwich Village, comes to his rescue with an impassioned speech and impromptu dance number/homoerotic lap dance on the House floor.
The two fall in love, even as the ruthless Republican radicals in Congress seek to destroy them. It’s a touching romance, replete with the realistic portrayal of two young men in love; their love revealed through a series of delicate and artistically rendered love-making scenes which show every aspect of the characters’ emotion, physicality and various penetrative ennui.
The story ends in a slightly obvious way when the two lovers are mercilessly gunned down by extremist Republican Christians, right under the watchful gaze of the Lincoln Memorial. The film’s most haunting image is the blood-splattered statue of Lincoln. It’s thought-provoking to see Lincoln looking over the bodies of the two slain lovers, his fellow gay men, martyred for having the boldness to speak up for themselves in a time of Republican and Christian theocratic tyranny.
Unfortunately, the poignancy of the film’s climax is slightly marred by the two lovers’ ghosts appearing to do a duet of “Summer Loving.” While I didn’t object to the artistic merit of the break dancing Lincoln showing up for the film’s finale, it would have been more appropriate to end with an original composition, rather than a song from Grease.
Full of Heaven does have some thought-provoking and moving compositions throughout, for instance, the waltz “Healthier Drinking Water.” Perhaps a better ending would have been a reprise of the song “Gay, Communist and Proud” from the first act, or even “Jesus Doesn’t Love Christians,” the intimately rock-fueled surprise which could have been slowed down a bit to allow an enhancement of the film’s central message.
The Message of the film (that Gay Communist love is the only true love) is beautifully depicted in the many love-making scenes replete with artistically slow-motion ejaculatory endings. While some in Middle America may frown their pork-skin, crumb covered faces at the theme of Gay love, or even Gay Communist love, surely the film’s long look at the passion between these two men, with slow-motion ejaculatory endings, will change the low-brow’s ignorant viewpoints.
Some have dared scoff at the portrayal of the film’s villain, Senator Stanley Satan, the Protestant preacher from Alabama, who is depicted throughout wearing a red suit, beard, horns and carrying a pitchfork, but none can argue that his constant devouring of babies and puppies is an accurate depiction of the Republican stance on social issues.
While the bourgeois, low-brow, beer slugging Red State masses will probably not be smart enough to understand Full of Heaven’s thought provoking and poignant Message that Gay Communism will triumph over Christianity’s hate and oppression, those of us in New York and Los Angeles will no doubt enjoy this moving romantic love story, simply because we’re smartest and best.