January 16, 2018

Review: Arizona Sky (2008)

I must be living in a big Gay bubble. For years, I have heard people talk about the Gay romantic comedy called “Big Eden” set in a quiet Montana town. The movie was made in 2000. I didn’t have the privilege to see it until 2008. It was a very enjoyable movie, even though I am not a huge fan of country music. But no other music and small town lifestyle would have been right for the feel and essence of the film, so I put my prejudices aside. I thought if I could like Dolly Parton’s disco hit “Two Doors Down,” I should be able to open my mind and give “Big Eden” a fair chance.

Flash forward to 2017. I was bored one night, so I went to my laptop to see what Netflix had to offer that I could instantly watch. I didn’t feel like a comedy, nor I didn’t feel like a horror or disaster flick. For those of you who know me, don’t faint on that one. (laughing) Folks know that those are two of the movie genres that are like “crack” to me. They are addictive.

I made the decision to browse through the drama section. I was getting ready to give up after a few minutes and turn on my TV to watch “On Demand,” when I came upon the 2008 flick “Arizona Sky.” The description of the film gave me the impression it was just another small town flick on rural America. I told myself to squash my preconception of this film. How could I tell people to be eclectic when I am not willing to be eclectic and open up my mind to country rural America. I remembered “Big Eden” and how well I enjoyed it, but that was a comedy. This was drama, but I ahead and give “Arizona Sky” a fair shake.

Long story short, I loved it so much I had to watch it twice. Thankfully, I was so happy that it was subtitled for the hearing impaired. I didn’t understand a great deal of what some of the characters were saying because of their country drawl.

For you all who are not familiar with this movie, it is a Gay themed independent drama of two teenage best friends Jake and Kyle They were inseparable. They intimately experimented with each other, but sort of denied it meant anything more.

The film opens up with Kyle picking up Jake for one of their overnight camping excursions that they regularly take in the desert. There is a certain sadness in the air. As their overnight excursion is coming to a close, Jake tells Kyle he doesn’t want to move away but has no choice since his father got this wonderful job in the big city. Both vowed to stay in touch with each other and remain best friends.

Twenty years have passed. Jake and Kyle are now middle-aged men. As life would have it, they didn’t stay in touch with each other. They never seen or talked to each other in that 20 years. Leading very different lives now, their responsibilities as men squashed that promise.

Jake is a single successful movie producer in California. He lives a stressful and loveless life. He lives with his present day best friend Steve, a Gay supportive straight man. After Jake suffers an anxiety attack from all the stress and pressure from his job, Steve talks him into taking a vacation. Jake was reluctant at first but decides to visit his childhood hometown in Arizona. He wouldn’t go unless Steve agrees to go with him. As they both arrive, that is when the plot of the movie thickens.

I must admit I was wrong about this movie. I guess Van Jones of CNN was right when he said urban and rural America deals with the same kinds of problems. Both “Big Eden” and “Arizona Sky” proved that to me. I was wrong for prejudging. I am still not a huge fan of country music, and that is okay, BUT I won’t let these kinds of things deter me from giving a movie a chance even if it is a drama and I can’t lighten my prejudices of those story lines unless it is a comedy.

Singer Janet Jackson was so right when she sang a lyric in one of her songs, “The Knowledge” when she said, “It is good to laugh, but don’t be the joke.”

Chuck’s Chat operates under an open authority. Opinions and comments are always welcome. Send them to soultraindancing@yahoo.com

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