In Manuel Gómez Pereira’s fluffy 2005 Spanish comedy Queens, a group of gay men and their mothers get ready for Spain’s first mass gay wedding ceremony. That year, despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church and from religious and social traditionalists (many of whom still miss the good traditional days of Franco’s right-wing dictatorship), same-sex marriage became legal in Spain following the election of the socialist government led by prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Shockingly, Spanish society hasn’t collapsed under this heavy burden of sin and immorality – though I guess there’s still time for that.
Anyhow, considering that today the Courage Campaign is organizing a “Light Up the Night” candlelight vigil to draw attention to the 18,000 couples that tied the knot before same-sex marriage became (once again) illegal in California, I felt it would be appropriate to post something about Queens, which has a number of funny moments.
Not funny at all, however, is the fact that Kenneth Starr, the grand inquisitor who rabidly pursued the Clintons in the 1990s, has filed a legal brief on behalf of the “Yes on 8” proponents seeking to nullify the aforementioned 18,000 same-sex marriages. (Read more.)
Reinas / Queens is Manuel Gómez Pereira’s dramatic comedy about five mothers (Verónica Forqué, Carmen Maura, Betiana Blum, Mercedes Sampietro, and Marisa Paredes) who must cope with their gay sons’ (and their own) romantic problems as they all get ready for Spain’s first mass gay wedding ceremony. The film, made by Warner Bros. Spain, has the look and feel of a glossy Hollywood flick – or of a non-English-language film begging for an American remake. But cheesy commercialism and sentimentality aside, Reinas boasts a couple of first-rate performances – Forqué as a nymphomaniac, Blum as a sweet-as-overripe-apple-pie Mom – and delivers more than a few good laughs. Additionally, the climactic big-wedding finale is quite touching.
Reinas / Queens (2005)
Dir.: Manuel Gómez Pereira.
Scr.: Yolanda García Serrano. Joaquín Oristrell. Manuel Gómez Pereira.
Cast: Betiana Blum. Carmen Maura. Verónica Forqué. Marisa Paredes. Mercedes Sampietro. Gustavo Salmerón. Unax Ugalde. Hugo Silva. Daniel Hendler. Paco León. Raúl Jiménez. Tito Valverde. Lluís Homar. Jorge Perugorría. Ginés García Millán.