In a tender scene in the touching indie film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel A Home at the End of the World, Colin Farrell gets out of bed after making love with Robin Wright Penn and wanders naked into the bed of Dallas Roberts, his gay best friend, to comfort him in a moment of distress. In the prerelease version of the movie, Farrell was there in all of his glory. In the version you're going to see, Colin's glory has been edited out because it was deemed "too distracting." Note to Hollywood: Penises have been distracting me my entire life—I think I can handle it.
I realize I have a certain reputation for harping on cinematic depictions of relations between men; I haven't made a lot of friends ever since I noted that Sam wanted to do more than hold Frodo's ring in those big flaming hobbit movies. I get a lot of "Does everything have to be gay, Steve?" and "Does it always have to be about sex, Steve?" To which I respond, well, everything that is gay has to be gay, Mom, and I'm not the one who's making it all about sex—somehow I'm the Marquis de Sade for suggesting that a glimpse of noodle might not be the most unsettling thing Americans will ever see on a movie screen. And, hey, let's consider the amount of distaff action that the movies regularly give us: I've been sleeping with men for my entire adult life, but thanks to Hollywood, I've seen more vagina than anyone who isn't Colin Farrell should ever be required to view.
For his part—no pun intended—Farrell addressed the issue recently in Entertainment Weekly, in which he was asked if he's surprised by the hoopla concerning his missing member, an edit he admits he was key in supporting. "Yeah, man, I mean, f--- me!" says Colin. "Who gives a f---? Apart from the readers of The Advocate maybe, who wants to see Colin Farrell's c--- that much?" Colin, I hate to f---ing break this to you, but you're in a f---ing gay-themed movie made by a gay director from a book by a Pulitzer Prize–winning gay author; readers of The Advocate are your target audience. And they all want to see your c---.
Master Colin (who, I'm almost loathe to admit, is actually quite moving in the film) then goes on to pontificate about the notoriously rumored lack of a kiss between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in the upcoming gay cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain:
"People, particularly in this country, there's too much lateral thinking," says Colin. "Don't just think, They're playing gay characters; are we going to see some [sex]? It's so obvious."
Yes, it is, Colin. That's the point. It kills me that whenever male Hollywood actors discuss nudity or homosexuality (interesting how the two are always linked, isn't it?), they become far more contemplative than at any other time in their entire lousy little lives. People who have spent the rest of their careers blowing up cars, outrunning large fireballs, or boning Britney Spears suddenly start discussing their craft as though it were all about subtlety and nuance. Lateral thinking? The last several decades of movies have been Boy Gets Girl, Boy Screws Girl, Girl Goes Full Frontal. Is it really so much to ask from a film about real life that some man have the courage to let it all hang out?