“Making Love: (1982), a gay themed classic has finally been released on DVD. When it first came out it was way ahead of its time and happily I say that time has still not fully caught up with it. It is a beautiful movie about two guys in love and they are just regular good looking hunks who build a life together.
When the movie opens we meet a successful young doctor who is married to his equally successful T.V. producer wife. Their lives are torn apart when suddenly the doctor confronts his repressed feelings for and attraction to other men. Zach and Claire live comfortably and seem secure in their love for one another when a Los Angeles novelist walks into Zach’s office, Zach’s feelings heighten as he realizes that something is happening inside of him over which he has no control. Zach cancels dinner with his wife and goes out with Bart who seems to be keeping his distance from Zach, Eventually the two get together and his absences from home lead Claire to suspect that he is having an affair with another woman, Bart eventually jilts Zach and he resolves to tell Claire the truth about himself and Claire feels that he has always deceived her.
I remember when I first saw this film. I thought I had never heard such silence in a theater before. When the two men kissed, the audience went wild. Several people stood up, others walked out of the theater and others yelled anti-gay remarks. (It was glorious).
When first screened, the movie broke ground. Two straight actors, Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean played the gay men and they took risks in making this film. We had not really had a movie that had shown two men having a loving relationship and the fact that they kissed on screen was an extremely brave move. Kate Jackson as Claire showed a depth she had never shown while one of “Charlie’s Angels”.
Even after all of the years have passed, “Making Out” is still one of the first coming out films ever made. As it depicts the coming to terms with sexual identity, the movie is excellent.
“Making Love” sends out a strong message and that is to trust your heart and be true to yourself and to the ones you love. The relevance f the film is till strong and it anticipated the sensitivity which is so common today in gay-themed films.
When the move was released it was quickly dismissed as a melodrama even though it dealt with a controversial topic. This hurt the film’s release and people did not go to see it. Interestingly enough, some of the scenes that are in the movie have yet to be duplicated on the screen today. Even though the love making is not explicit sexually, it is clear and frank; Even “Philadelphia” which depicted a loving male couple did not give us a kiss like “Making Love” did. The movie is routine in every aspect except for the fact that it is a love story between two men. Because there is not a lot new or unusual in the film (in fact it is rather mundane), this is what makes the movie so appealing and wonderful. The love triangle was handed no differently than if the man had been another woman and the issue of homosexual love was treated with incredible respect. Love was dealt with positively and the characters actually had sex—unlike many other GLBT movies. The sex in the movie was real and not just theoretical.
“Making Love” has been called a soap opera” and I suppose it is but even so it was a big step forward. The characters were people who just happened to be gay. We must remember that it was very brave to make a film of this nature in 1982 as the AIDS epidemic was just beginning to claim lives of gay men.
As the movie follows a journey of self-discovery and the damage it can do, it depicts the reality of the situation. The characters, while suffering from inner turmoil, are refreshing, the script is literate, the actors give wonderful performances, and the kiss sent people shrieking. All in all, it is a movie that must be seen and cherished for what it did for our community.