Ron HowardEnlarge Photo
If you keep up with Hollywood and/or the car scene, chances are pretty good that you're aware of the whole "Electric cars are gay" conflamma surrounding Ron Howard's new film, The Dilemma. But just in case you've been out of the loop, here's what you need to know: (a) there's a new movie called The Dilemma, and (b) in the original trailer, the star of the film busted out with the line, "Electric cars are gay."
Ordinarily, that line wouldn't have caused much of an uproar because the star of the film is Vince Vaughn, so hey, how many people would really see it anyway? But because the alleged joke was in the trailer -- the first line of the trailer, in fact -- anyone who's been to a movie in the past couple of months has gotten an eyeful. And of course, Vaughn & Co. had the misfortune of launching that trailer at the same time that bullying and suicides of gay teens were (and are) making headlines across the nation.
As a result of an outcry from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Anderson Cooper, and others, Universal pulled the line from the trailer. But Ron Howard, the movie's director, has now gone on record as saying that the joke will be in the film when it finally drops. His argument for that decision seems pretty solid and sensible, though one has to wonder whether he'd make the same points about using the N-word or tossing around Holocaust jokes.
Our colleague John Voelcker has already tackled the issue of EVs and sexuality (quote: "We ain't touching that one"), and Brett Berk gave a passionate response at Vanity Fair, so we don't really have anything to add to the debate surrounding sexual orientation and inanimate objects. We agree that Hollywood has the right to say whatever it likes in a film, and we also agree that audience members have a right to avoid such films in droves.
But more importantly, we agree that this film is going to be terrible. How can we be so sure? Well, apart from the C+/B- cast and the release date (January 14? Why don't they just go straight to DVD? Or should that be "heterosexually" to DVD?), there's the fact that the studio put such a lame joke in the trailer. If the goal of a trailer is to tantalize audiences with the best a movie has to offer, audiences for The Dilemma should bring a book.