A whole bag can change in 20 years. Hell, 2020 has taught us that a beautiful piece can change in 9 months, or two weeks, or in the time it takes one to write a post on the 20th anniversary of a movie. Life is coming soon, and we, a people obsessed with pop culture, can use the anniversaries of film to mark how far (hopefully) we have come.
Christopher Guest’s cult cult mockumentary Best in Performance he might not seem a candidate for such an exercise in thought, so miraculously it doesn’t they seem dated despite the theatrical hit when Bill Clinton was still president. People are still obsessed with their pets, the annual National Channel Show is still very much a thing, and – come on – Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara are better than ever in 2020, and they have the Emmy to show it.
In fact, the most dated thing to Best in Performance it is, at least for me, my reaction to watching it for the first time on DVD about 17-18 years ago – specifically my reaction to the film’s gay couple, Stefan (Michael McKean) and Scott (John Michael Higgins).
Twenty years ago, Stefan and Scott seemed – to my deeply baptized Southern Baptist, high school author – to be in gay flames. Hilariously gay. Shocking homosexual. They looked right too gay. They were, like, two omi… together… with froufrou dogs and leather pants and kimoni. I loved it Best in Performance back when I was a “right” without thinking, and better believe that Appearance of Parker Posey’s Buser Bee it became a part of my vocabulary (as a Parker Posey obsession didn’t advise me for my own gayness, who knows?). But I hadn’t reviewed it Best in Performance in a while before my husband put it on and he, like me, both realized: Stefan and Scott aren’t close to ~.* ¡GAY! * ~ as we recall. They were real, they were a little us, and they were a little purposes.
Despite being played by two straight actors in a film directed by a straight man, there is something so true about the gay experience in how Stefan and Scott interact. Scott is the cattier, he never misses a beat with basic, sometimes weird insinuations (he feels like “pulling the membranes” sexually in front of a food butcher). But Stefan de McKean isn’t bothered by this, not like Mitchell’s low contempt for the flashy Cameron for much of the year. very much most recent Modern Family. He’s used to it, and sometimes he’s even swayed by puns about Scott seeing a man with “two limbs”.
In retrospect, it’s Stefan’s acceptance response to Scott that shrinks Best in Performance of some gay panic, some “aren’t gays ridiculous?” vibrations. Viewers take their subliminal clues from Scott’s partner, and since Stefan never shoots Scott to cut him off, since Stefan agrees that yes, a hotel room they’ll be in in two days at most needs a change of feng shui, helps to spark Scott the behavior feels absolutely normal – that, as a man who is now in a relationship engaged with another man for 10 years, I can tell you, is absolutely normal.
For example: the kimono scene. It’s a quick scene. Scott and Stefan pack their bags for their trip to the dog show. Stefan notes that Scott packed six kimonos for a 48-hour trip. Scott hears it — and realizes he should pack at least two other kimonos.
Twenty years ago, this scene played out like “Haha, gays are so extra.” But today? Tell you what, this scene takes place between my husband and I every time he looks at me with resignation as I pack faster. option of how much I might need for a trip where there is only the possibility of pool time. And it doesn’t even bother me to start on the hair care and drug care products that to have be packaged between the two of us (TSA limits for liquids / gels / creams are odious). Now this scene between Scott and Stefan standing on opposite sides of a bed that is full of relative amounts of luggage, is funny because I know that’s true.
This is the magic of the magazine Best in Performance in 2020. Nowadays, you realize that Scott and Stefan are not just a stupid, excessive gay couple. I am one real couple, the most well-adapted and supportive throughout the film. The only thing dated about Best in Performance it’s, really, how we all interpreted those “jokes” 20 years ago. Now it’s clear that Scott and Stefan aren’t kidding. They are total goals. And it took all this time to get somewhere Best in Performance he was already back in 2000.