Metro Weekly

Funny Ha Ha or Funny Gay?

Reel Affirmations 2003

Review by Sean Bugg

Rating: starstarstar (3 out of 5)
Tuesday, 10/21/2003, 9:00 PM
Shorts presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre

LAUGHTER MAY BE the best medicine, but it’s also by far the hardest to deliver. And while Funny Ha Ha or Funny Gay? serves up a few strong doses, some of these shorts will leave you wanting an aspirin. So let’s start with the tasty medicine first.

Masturbation: Putting the Fun into Self Loving () is a hilariously warped take on old-time educational films, right down to the scratched up black and white film. Learn all the different ways to make the boring act of masturbation something to look forward to — who wouldn’t want to learn how to make a vagina-simulator out of a sponge and PVC pipe? The only thing missing is Troy McClure.

The B-Girlz get trapped in The Elevator () on their way to an awards show where all three are competing for best performance. Refreshingly, this is a drag comedy that’s actually funny, with snappy writing, sharp directing, and a pervasive sense of fun. In Straight Sex () a gay man and a lesbian try to make a baby the old-fashioned way, and you’re there every step of the way as they try to figure out how to best handle each other’s unfamiliar plumbing. Far, far funnier than it sounds.

Seventy () stops in on two newly-septuagenarian gentlemen, best friends since college, who share the same birthday. The straight one decides to give his gay friend something special. Some good lines — “Don’t you dare tell me you’re gay now after 55 fucking years!” — bring some chuckles, and the twist ending is amusing, if unlikely.

My Dinner with Ovitz () is probably funnier if you live in L.A., and find the idea of David Geffen as Michael Corleone performing a hit on super agent Michael “The Gay Mafia Did Me In” Ovitz to be sharp satire. For the rest of us, a big ho-hum. Similarly, Fire Island on $0 a Day () will be funny for the beach boys, tiresome to everyone else. Yet another Ambiguously Gay Duo () reveals a concept on minute number sixteen.

Superfag () ineptly steals jokes from Naked Gun, The Tick, The Pink Panther and countless other superior sources only to have them thud off the screen in an unfunny mess. G.A.D.A.R. () feels like it was piped in from 1989, where someone thinks Bert & Ernie jokes are still funny. And Gay Life for Beginners () is, mercifully, the shortest film in the program.

Funny Ha Ha or Funny Gay?
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Sean Bugg is Editor Emeritus for Metro Weekly.