“Dottie Gets Spanked”
Short and Sweet
What “Dottie Gets Spanked” does in half an hour many full length films never manage to do. With no pretense and frills, Todd Haynes, the director conveys what it is like to be a youngster on the verge of becoming gay. The movie is simple and straightforward yet a very emotional experience. The movie hugs you and draws you in a dark and sinister way without you even realizing that it is happening. It uplifts sissy power to a degree heretofore not dealt with on the screen.
I felt as if I was taken back to the shame I felt when I could not share my early sexual fantasies. Our main character, Steven Gale, is fascinated by the world of women and he is mesmerized by a TV star named Dottie who is his world. What lies beneath this attraction for Dottie is deeply psychological and we watch as Steven attempts to understand the meaning of the word normal. Here we get a very tasteful and sincere look at a young boy’s interest in and awareness of his sexuality. Ashe observes innocently the mores of the society in which he lives, he finds a curiosity about some of the stranger details of adult life. He sees Dottie as his heroine and his role model.
The script is tender and sensitive and the director renders it with class and humor. Something happens in this movie that can change your life and the beautiful and careful way this movie is constructed takes the viewer to a different time and place. Steve’s reality is bases upon a television show and the reality behind it brings about a multidimensional understanding that will probably bother him later. So many of us have experienced something like this and it is absolutely amazing to watch it happen to someone else.