Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

Previously: Watching Bad Gay Movies With Autostraddle.

Rohin Guha is currently executive editor at The Aerogram, an online magazine that provides a variety of South Asian perspectives on popular culture. He lives in Metro Detroit. He also has this really wonderful hairstyle that can perhaps best be described as a “casual pompadour,” and he is my friend. Together we watched the inexplicable Touch of Pink. Here’s a trailer:

Some key facts:

  • It is in fact named after the Cary Grant/Doris Day comedy That Touch of Mink
  • Kyle MacLachlan (of Twin Peaks or Sex and the City, as you prefer) plays THE GHOST OF CARY GRANT, a spirit that only lead character Alim can see or hear
  • Kyle MacLachlan does the world’s most mannered Cary Grant impression for the entire movie
  • It never makes any more sense no matter how much you keep watching and thinking it will
  • Like ten minutes in he’s already said “How about a mimosa for my little samosa?” so that is exactly the kind of movie this is

Take a journey with us.

pink3Mallory: You’ve never seen this before, right?
Rohin: I have seen it once many years ago actually
so I know it has the line “HOW ABOUT A MIMOSA FOR MY SAMOSA”
Mallory: AHHH WE OPEN ON KYLE MACLACHLAN
BOLD MOVE
Rohin: he has aged a lot
Mallory: why is he standing in front of the US Capitol when this movie takes place in London and Canada
Rohin: he’s Cary Grant
he’s everywhere
at once
Mallory: FORTUNE COOKIE JOKE
30 seconds in and we have a fortune cookie joke
Rohin: AND A SAMOSA JOKE
which movie star do you think looks after you the way Cary Grant looks after Alim
Mallory: I was JUST going to ask you the same thing
I think Kate Hepburn
Rohin: I mean Eartha Kitt I think
Mallory: oh yeah
good call
Rohin: wait
Mallory: there’s definitely a frisson of attraction between Alim and Cary Grant, right?
Rohin: they make a cute couple
also Jimi Mistry is a BABE
Mallory: he has that great undereye circle thing some cute guys have
baaaad haircut though
Rohin: OKAY HIS MOM
IS THE BEST
Mallory: I LOVE HER
Rohin: THEY’RE BOTH AWESOME
Mallory: WHY DID HE HAVE SEX WITH HIS COUSIN
LIKE WHY IS THAT
Rohin: OH MY GOD
SPOILER
SPOILER
Mallory: A SUBPLOT OF THIS MOVIE
Rohin: MALLORY
Mallory: is that they used to DO IT
Rohin: WE’RE ONLY FIVE MINUTES IN
I KNOW
Mallory: I can’t wait until they get to that subplot to talk about it
Rohin: I KNOW
THEY GLOSS OVER IT TOO
Mallory: right?
Rohin: OK
Mallory: like, they act like it’s a little eccentric but his role could easily have been “lousy ex-boyfriend” for all the attention they gave to the fact that they were first cousins who were raised together
Rohin: his boyfriend is KEYUTE though
Mallory: in my head he’s always “white boyfriend”
that’s how much of his personality I remember, he’s just White Boyfriend, those are his big character traits

Mallory: lollll GAY CLUB DANCING
I love gay club scenes in movies
Rohin: I do too
Mallory: Cary Grant is truly Alim’s internalized racism/homophobia
Rohin: I love that Cary Grant shows up
when that awful guy shows up and is all SALAAM ALAIKUM
like guys say shit like that to me at clubs
sometimes I tell them I’m from Burma
or Laos
Indonesia
Mallory: men are awful
Rohin: “I’m from Indonesia City”
I love the vintage Bollywood music in this scene
it’s clearly satire at this point
Mallory: UGH THAT EVIL COUSIN
HE’S SO CLEARLY EVIL
he’s even a dentist!
Rohin: all cousins are evil everywhere
Mallory: dentists are always evil

Rohin: omg
WAIT
THIS SONG
Mallory: I looove this song
Rohin: WHAT IS IT
IT’S BY TEXAS
“SUMMER SON”
Mallory: it’s perfect
ahahhahahhahahahaha this daaaance
Rohin: OMG
HOW CUTE
Mallory: NOOOO
Rohin: AAAAA
Mallory: yesssss
they’re like hipless sharks
dancing together
Rohin: I am an awful dancer
so I relate to this
Mallory: we can all relate to this
Rohin: AWWWW
SEXLESS ROMANCE SCENE
Giles has nice nipples
Mallory: their kisses together are not great
I can see why they skipped the sex scene
Rohin: they don’t have great chemistry honestly
man
you are dead on
Mallory: right?
Rohin: “Cary Grant” = Alim’s internalized homophobia
Mallory: that’s why he has to say goodbye to him at the end!
Rohin: AAAAAAAA
SYMBOLISMSMMM
Mallory: when did you come out to your parents
Rohin: uh in college
in a letter lol
Mallory: awww
Rohin: they said I studied too much
and was probably oversocialized
Mallory: !
Rohin: no no that I needed to study more
Mallory: hahaha
“is Giles still seeing other men”
way to plant that seed
I bet Kyle had the BEST time making this movie
Rohin: this movie moves a lot quicker than I remember
Mallory: because it has TWO PLOTS
Rohin: I love how Westernized his mom is
Mallory: 1. Hide gayness from mom in a Wedding Banquet-style farce
2. COUSIN INCEST DRAMA
Rohin: oh
and
3. resolve internalized homophobia
Mallory: do you mean in her style of dress?
Rohin: well dress and mannerisms
MOM KNOWS ALL, ALIM
SHE TOLD HIM OFF IN HINDI
Mallory: ahahahaha
Rohin: (I can’t speak or understand Hindi)
Mallory: that was such a terrible cover
“He’s my…roommate?”
how does she not get it right away
Rohin: “your people have a fondness for the brassy broads”
GAYS OR INDIANS, KYLE MACLACHLAN?
Mallory: at least this time he means gays
Rohin: LOLL
I just spit out my coffee @ “it’s time for me to take my pills”
Mallory: hahaha
Rohin: YES
Mallory: they really like telegraphing future plot points
“I’VE GOT A BAD HEART KIDDO”
Rohin: omg
that cake
ok
Mallory: she took the cake!!!
SHE LITERALLY TOOK THE CAKE
Rohin: 2. that cake
I KNOW
ALSO SHE’S ON A DIET
OMG
Rohin: what the hell is coconut chicken
she brought a COOKING PAN
WHAT THE FUCK IS COCONUT CHICKEN
wait
what the hell
Rohin: INDIAN MOMS DO NOT TRAVEL WITH SKILLETS
Mallory: everyone knows that
a coconut full of chicken nuggets
“Joanie Fontaine”
Rohin: wtf is joanie fontaine
Mallory: Whoever dressed Kyle MacLachlan had a blast
JOAN FONTAINE
YOU ASS
Rohin: omg
idk who that is
Mallory: oh my GOD
Rohin: I know who Maria Montez aka the cobra queen is
Mallory: OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND’S SISTER
STAR OF ‘SUSPICION’ AND ‘REBECCA’
FILM LEGEND

Rohin: oh shit
Mallory: THE JOKES
IN THIS MOVIE
ARE SO BAD
Rohin: I know
THEY ARE SO CLUNKY
Mallory: I love it
“a heart as big as a pig”
Rohin: “SHE’S IN COMPUTERS”
Mallory: that’s the woman for me
Rohin: YES
Mallory: haha the trombone joke music
they play “womp womppp” after every downer moment
Rohin: Mallory have u met a girl with a heart as big as a pig
Mallory: NOT YET
Rohin: have you met a pig with a heart as big as a girl
“the mangoes are fabulous”
Mallory: comical misunderstandings!!!

Rohin: I love Giles becuase he’s like “oh hey Alim, you’re not white, that’s kinda cool”
this film is sloppy and clunky
but Giles is kind of a sweetheart
like that
Mallory: yeah he’s a dumb sweet pea
Rohin: most of the cool guys in my life
never ask me “WHAT ARE YOU”
the dumb ones do
“WHERE ARE YOU FROM”
“um, Michigan”
Mallory: “no I mean originally”
Rohin: “noooo ur parents”
Mallory: hahaha
Rohin: “they live there too dont worry”
Rohin: “NO WHERE WERE YOUR PARENTS BORN”
“I’m sorry do you want my fucking social security #”

Rohin: I BOUGHT BIRDS OF PARADISE FLOWERS JUST LIKE IN THIS SCENE
FOR A GUY I REALLY LIKED
HE THEN CRUSHED MY HEART
Mallory: NO
Rohin: SERIOUSLY
HE WAS PRE-MED, MALLORY
HE WAS HANDSOME AND SWEET
Mallory: oh noooo
Rohin: HE LIVED IN BOSTON
Mallory: you should have made him stay with you
Rohin: I tried
he ran away
Mallory: you should have changed for him
Rohin: I tried
he left to study things in Namibia

Mallory: oh noooooooo
Rohin: nO
ALIM
NO
NO
OH NO
DEATH
Mallory: noooooo
noooo
ALIMMMMM
this coming-out was so poorly planned
Rohin: ALIM
why.
why does nobody plan in this movie
Mallory: right?
Rohin: “a virgin”?
oops
Mallory: this is the worst-planned de-closeting I’ve ever seen
Rohin: “I’M NOT A MUSLIM, MA”
Mallory: oh shit
Rohin: I love this looney tunes music
Mallory: he was ready to come out as an atheist before coming out as gay? I feel like that is similarly intense!
“better not tell her I’m gay”
“but definitely a good time to turn my back on her god”

Rohin: OMG
WHAT
WHERE DO THEY THINK OF THIS
“YOU PEOPLE”
Mallory: RIGHT
Rohin: OOHH
REVERSE RACISM
Mallory: GILES THAT IS COLLLLD
Rohin: “the swimmer”
Mallory: that’s fucked upppp
Rohin: look at him
HAND IN POCKET
BUTCHIN IT UP
Mallory: hahahaha
Rohin: TROUSERS ARE A BIT TIGHT
HAHAHA
OK
I DEFINITELY HAD THAT CONVERSATION WITH MY MOM
Mallory: oooh she gave him liiiiiiffe
did you really?
Rohin: IT’S MY LIFE DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO WEAR
yes
ok
it didn’t get this intense
Mallory: omg
Rohin: we didn’t talk about grandchildren
Mallory: “go forth, breed a dynasty”
Rohin: LOL
BEST LINE
Mallory: yep
perfect
Rohin: “I’ll stay”
GOOD
Mallory: stay forever
Rohin: “She can always convert”
Mallory: “I made your favorite food”
Rohin: WHAT IS HIS FAVORITE
Mallory: scrambled eggs?
Rohin: REALLY
Mallory: what a boring favorite
Rohin: THAT’S HIS FAVORITE
Mallory: hahaha
Rohin: sometimes when I visit family in india
they make us fish fries and paratha for breakfast
FOR BREAKFAST
then there’s somehow lamb curry at lunch
omg
OMG
Mallory: it’s gonna happen!!!
wait???
Rohin: “I’d like to get you off my back”
WHAT
WHO WROTE THIS
THIS IS WAY TOO DRAMATIC
Mallory: he almost came out
he ALMOST CAME OUTTTT
Rohin: WTF IS MANGO PICKLE SANDWICHES
MANGO PICKLE IS A GARNISH
YOU CAN’T HAVE ENTIRE SANDWICHES
Mallory: this is like in Harriet the Spy
when she ate tomato sandwiches, just tomatoes by themselves between some bread
Rohin: it’s like eating a relish and jalapeno pepper sandwich
OH MY GOD
OH MY GOD
THAT IS SO FUCKING DRAMATIC
actually that’s how I talk sometimes

Mallory: “that touch of pink”
Rohin: NOBODY DESCRIBES HUMANS LIKE THAT
Mallory: TITLE DROPPPPP
ahahaha
Rohin: OH SHIT

Mallory: also the actress playing Alim’s mom is like
29
MAYBE 30
with barely greying hair
how is she old enough to be the mother of a 30-year-old?
Rohin: I know
SERIOUSLY
THEY’RE THE SAME AGE
SO IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE DATING
Mallory: yepppp
Rohin: IT’S LIKE A WOODY ALLEN MOVIE
Mallory: hahaha
Mallory: I have never seen a Woody Allen movie, and now I never have to
Rohin: OH
THEY SAID THE TITLE
AGAIN
Mallory: hahaha
Rohin: WAIT she was telling her son not to watch rubbish old movies
Mallory: right??
Rohin: and now she’s namedropping Doris Day?
Mallory: this movie has the least consistent characterization in the world
Rohin: INCONSISTENCY
“ALIM WOULDN’T WANT HIS MOTHER DRINKING LIKE THIS”
Mallory: lolll
Rohin: boo alim does not CARE
Mallory: he would probably love it
this is a weird, gross walk down memory lane, alim
Rohin: “my fingers spelled like pickle”
makes me laugh
as a line
in anything

Mallory: aww his internalized homophobia tucks him in at night
Rohin: LOL
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
ok so his mom is out dancing with his boyfriend
and his internalized homophobia is tucking him in bed
Mallory: dancing in the street!!!
IN THE STREET
Rohin: HOW DID THEY GET TO AN EMPTY STREET
THIS IS V. V. BOLLYWOOD
VIS-A-VIS PLOT PROGRESSION
Mallory: okay she loves old movies now?
Rohin: YEAH
EXACTLY
Mallory: hahaha
Rohin: oh
good
ok
Mallory: “she’s drunk, Giles”
Rohin: “I am not drunkHICCUP”
Mallory: of course they gave her hiccups
because this is a cartoon
a live action cartoon
starring one happy gay guy and one guy from The Boys In The Band
Rohin: UGH
Mallory: Alim is SO boys in the band
Rohin: BONKAS
Mallory: oh my god Alim just come out
Rohin: SERIOUSLY
Mallory: this guy is being so nice to your mom
Rohin: HE’S MADE IT SO EASY
UGH
Mallory: do not let him slip away into those swimmer’s arms!!!
Rohin: ALIM IS SUCH A FUCKING BRAT

Rohin: YES
OH
HELLO
Mallory: BATHTUB SCENE
Rohin: “a dip with a friend”
Mallory: hahaha
“I pump iron”
no you do not
no one who lifts weights calls it “pumping iron,” probably
Rohin: I know
it’s called lifting

Mallory: WHY IS THIS THE WAY YOU ARE CHOOSING TO COME OUT
WHYYYYY
Rohin: idk
seriously
Mallory: OF ALL THE WAYS
Rohin: does it have to be so dramatic
of all the ways!!!1
Mallory: JUST SAY YOU’RE GAYYYY
Rohin: just write it in a letter Alim
like I did
then run away
Mallory: lololol
Rohin: “I TOOK IT”
Mallory: YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO JUST SAY IT
SAYYY ITTTT
Rohin: SAY IT ALIM
Mallory: come on baby boy
Rohin: SAY IT LOUDLY
Mallory: you’re so close
Rohin: ALMOST THERE
MOM’S ALMOST THERE
COME ON
Mallory: COME ON
Rohin: SHE GOT IT
Mallory: FUCK THIS SHIT
Rohin: SHE GOT IT
SHE GOT THERE.
Mallory: WORST COMING OUT EVERRR
Rohin: I mean
Mallory: *here’s a naked picture *
Rohin: objectively most are
Mallory: SILENCE
oh my god I knooow
I drove home to do mine
Rohin: ~*serious Bollywood music*~
Mallory: it was so dramatic
and stupid
i’m sure I was such an ass about it

Mallory: saddddd
everyone is so saddddd
hahahahaha
oh my god Giles you wanted him to tell her!
you don’t know how he said it Giles!
Rohin: Giles
this makes no sense
“from the third world”
lol
Mallory: oooh that’s what cary grant said
LDFKJAS;LDKFJAS;LDKFJASDF
Rohin: apwogria420
20t8tapgosdgasdg
;sdga;aja
Mallory: let this white guy splain racism to you
Rohin: Alim’s internalized racism!
W@{T)*W$GUG
DUMP HIM
BOO
GILES
WE’RE BREAKING UP.
Mallory: whoooo would say those things
that was such a bizarre scene
Rohin: if my boyfriend said shit like that
I would tell him to fuck off
then throw his shit outside on the curb
Mallory: right??
Rohin: oy!
Mallory: pout forever Alim
Rohin: #poutingalim
Mallory: bathing costume
Rohin: “bathing costume”
Mallory: BATHING COSTUME
Rohin: WHAT
what
#bathingcostume
Mallory: IS THIS 1903
Rohin: #BATHINGCOSTUME
WHO THE FUCKING FUCK WEARS A BATHING COSTUME
fetch me my bathing costume and then later I will go court jane Eyre, esq of daventry
Mallory: ahahha
it’s almost as good as “pheasant samosa”
PHEASANT SAMOSA
Rohin: WHAT THE FUCKING
FUCK
IS
PHEASANT SAMOSA
wait
Mallory: you can see this actor’s self-hate written behind his eyes
he’s so pissed off he has to do this scene
“can you say this again, but MINCING-IER”

Mallory: FLIRTY JANITOR hitting on Alim’s mom!!
WHAAAT
this movie does not have room for another subplot
Rohin: SERIOUSLY
THAT’S THE COUSIN SUBPLOT
IS LIKE
COMING OUT OF NOWHERE
like
they don’t even drop hints
or touch on it
Mallory: right?
Rohin: they just shove it in there at the last minute
Mallory: Alimmmmmmm
Rohin: like a desperate third trying to make a threeway
when two people are perfectly fine with each other after a party
Mallory: Jimi Mistry really is super duper cute
he’s a total doll
Rohin: he truly is
MUMTAZ?
IS HIS FIANCEE
LIKE MUMTAZ MAHAL?
Mallory: a;lskdjfa;lskdjfal;skdjf
of UNICEF
the famous UNICEF Mumtaz
Rohin: (Shah Jahan created the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal)
LOL
UNICEF MUMTAZ.
oh shit
Mallory: I heard he was gonna make a second BLACK Taj Mahal for himself
which was so metal
Rohin: I went to the Taj Mahal
Mallory: hella goth
Rohin: I also went to the other palace
across the street from there
Mallory: did you wish there was a second black one that was goth as hell?
Rohin: kind of
the goddess Kali was pretty goth
Mallory: for sure
Hinduism is for sure the gothest of the world’s major religions
then Christianity, because of the nails

Rohin: omg
wait is this the same mustache guy from before?
Mallory: yeah
Rohin: that’s what’s his name from Seinfeld
I’m going to look
Mallory: he’s in stuff all the time
Rohin: yes
he is Babu from Seinfeld
that sitcom’s horrible amalgam of indian stereotypes!
Mallory: EWWWW
Rohin: wait why is the cousin shirtless
Mallory: CREEPY COUSIN COVERED IN PAINT
uuuugh he’s so grossssss and smirky
uuuuuuggh
Rohin: omg is Cary Grant kind of like a manifestation of his weird sexual history
Mallory: oh my god
YES
of course!
Rohin: I mean
IT EXPLAINS THE SELF-LOATHING
Mallory: it’s how he deals with being self-loathing for being gay AND having had a torrid, regrettable affair with his cousin in his youth
Rohin: YES
WOW.
what
awkward

Mallory: this cousin has the douchiest hair
in the worrrrld
what freaked me out the first time I saw this movie was how they did not foreshadow the cousin stuff at ALL
and then they just DROPPED it
Rohin: YEAH
I know
IT LIKE JUST HAPPENED
AND YES
exactly
Mallory: “oh yeah they used to do it all the time, and apparently this cousin is not super into getting consent now?”
Rohin: AS KIDS
but let’s not deal with this
Mallory: right?
Rohin: the cousin redeems Giles
dammit
Mallory: especially I felt like it was gross because
they treat it as a closeted thing
when I feel like it was more of a…coercive thing?
Mallory: like, the problem isn’t so much that the cousin is trying to hook up with Alim so much as that he seems perfectly happy to sort of pressure him into doing it
Rohin: COUSIN’S DRUNK GET READY
WHAT
why does he have an American accent when they’re all Canadian
Mallory: right? and like, a CHICAGO accent
he talks like Billy Crystal
Rohin: EWW
WHAT
EW
SERIOUSLY
at his awful accent
it makes no sense
SERIOUSLY
Mallory: “LIMEYTOWN”
Rohin: WHAT
Limeytown

Rohin: OH SHIT
Mallory: ohhh DIP
Rohin: OHHH SHIT
Mallory: Alim’s mom is stepping UPPP for her son
Rohin: OHHH SHITTTT
Mallory: ok that was pretty legit
Rohin: aww
Mallory: she learned about gay guys from Reader’s Digest!
Rohin: I KNOW ABOUT MEN WITH MEN
LOL
YES
Mallory: awww
Jimi is SO CUTE
I think I have a straight crush on him
Rohin: I have a gay crush on him in spite of his thinning hair
Mallory: I have no crush on Giles
Rohin: “you’ve never been to Canada”
is the weirdest romantic line
in anything
Mallory: who could love a man who’s never been to Canada

pink2

Rohin: WHAT
KYLE MACLACHLAN GO BACK TO BLUE VELVET
Mallory: I forgot he was in this movie
“GUNGA DIN” REFERENCE, REALLY
Rohin: OH YEAH
Mallory: GUNNNNNGA DINNNNNN
Rohin: what
WHAT
DID HE SAY THAT
“YOUR KIND OF INDIANS, NOT THE JOHN WAYNE KIND”
“DOT, NOT FEATHER”
Mallory: alskdjf;alskdjf
wowwwww
Rohin: OHHHH
Mallory: time to ditch himmmm
Rohin: he’s about to kill off Kyle MacLachlan
Mallory: hahahaha

Mallory: I think Jimi would look really cute in drag
and Giles would look terrible
Rohin: Jimi has very soft features
so yes
Giles has harsh, angular features
and lanky swimmers arms
Mallory: and a weird neck
Rohin: like wacky flailing inflatable tube man

Rohin: omg stop, Giles and Alim are reconciling
THIS DIALOGUE IS AWFUL
Mallory: WHAT
WHAAATTTT
Rohin: WHAT
WHAT
THAWT
WAEG;IJ
Mallory: WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
A;LWKEJFA;LWKEJF
WAIT
Rohin: “FLAMING HEART OF TANDOORI”
WHAT
Mallory: WHAT JUST HAPPENED
Rohin: WHAT WAS THAT LINE.
KYLE’S SUMMING IT UP
Mallory: toffee-nosed
Rohin: toffee-nosed.
#toffeenosed
Mallory: toffee-nosed
hahaha
your hashtags are really adding to this conversation
Rohin: what
DID NOBODY CALL A TAXI
HOW THE HELL IS IT SUPPOSED TO COME
IF NOBODY CALLS IT
Mallory: this guy is nice and all but she is way too hot for a plain janitor
Rohin: SERIOUSLY
unless he’s like a super spy
Mallory: she deserves someone MEGA hot
Rohin: like Kellan Lutz

Mallory: KILL THIS INTERNALIZED RACISM ALREADY
Rohin: seriously.
“spoils of the maharaja”
WHAT
Mallory: he’s going to have to get super racist before Alim can dump him
Rohin: hey Mallory
how about an elephant ride
Mallory: he’s going to push him to the end
Rohin: across a RajasthanI desert
Mallory: OH MY GODDDD
OHHHH MY GODDDD
Rohin: OMG
Mallory: OH MY GODDDDDDD
Rohin: AUNTY KNEW THE WHOLE TIME THEY USED TO DO IT
AWG[0284G
Mallory: SHE DOESN’T EVEN CARE AS LONG AS SHE GETS THE BIG FANCY WEDDING
THEY’RE COUSINSSSSS
your son was having sex with his cousin for years and you don’t care because of ice sculptures and also his wife is going to be miserable
damn
Rohin: W4G024G[08UAWG
Mallory: I love that she’s not even like, “yeah I know he’s gay but I want him to have a conventional life”
it’s “I know he’s gay but I want ICE SCULPTURES”
god I can’t believe she never even tried to stop them, or at least stop letting them sleep in the same room on vacations
or told them to keep it down if it was that obvious
Rohin: everyone’s screaming
Mallory: yepppp
Rohin: yet nobody has heard this juicy gossip

Rohin: OMG
KISS
AAAAA
DISNEY KISS
Mallory: wowwwwwwww
Rohin: SO CUTE
^_^
Mallory: ok there’s the chemistry!
we needed that before!
Rohin: OH DAMN
Mallory: where was this before!
Rohin: LOOK AT THAT
GIRL GET ME A FAN
Mallory: “what will his fiance the surgeon think”
Rohin: “excuse me why is Alim kissing that man”
“excuse me”
EXCUSE ME
Mallory: awww
awwww
Rohin: OH
Mallory: “he’s been off fucking a swimmer but we’re great now”
Rohin: ALIM’S MOM GROWS IN THE END
LOL
HAHAHAH
SERIOUSLY
I would be like “bitch who were you boning, we are not talking”
Mallory: “this is one solid, healthy relationship”
Rohin:
ew
no
go away Cary Grant
Mallory: Alim doesn’t need you anymore!!
Rohin: oh damn
Mallory: “you got what you wanted”
Rohin: Alim’s mom is laying the poetry on
Mallory: “but you still have A GAY SON”
she got SO WISE in the last half hour
Rohin: ~*sensitive Bollywood music*~
Mallory: “BUT AT WHAT COST”
Rohin: how did that even happen
WHAT DID SHE HAVE TO LOSE TO GAIN THAT INSIGHT
Mallory: she just achieved total resignation
Rohin: HER INNOCENCE
Mallory: she’s old and wise now
she’s ready for love with the janitor
Rohin: LOL

Mallory: I think it’s really interesting that they have Cary Grant say that
because he was closeted
but not in a way that everyone now is comfortable admitting
the way that we are with say, rock hudson
Rohin: oh shit
Cary Grant is gone
Mallory: goodbye Cary
enjoy gay heaven with Randolph Scott
Rohin: OMG
THE JANITOR IS BACK
Mallory: wut
Rohin: WHAT
ALIM
Mallory: WUTTTT
Rohin: WHY WOULD YOU
WHAT
Mallory: THE JANITOR IS BACK AND HE’S QUOTING GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Rohin: oh shit
Mallory: this is one learned janitor
Rohin: why would Alim set his mom up with the janitor in her building
Mallory: because this janitor is a font of wisdom apparently
and also a gender wizard
Rohin: “i’m a very good cook”
Mallory: he cooks and reads Shaw
Rohin: “my dumplings are legendary”
OK
Mallory: sure why not
Rohin: DUMPLINGS ARE NOT INDIAN FOOD
WHAT
THE
HELL
Mallory: maybe he is a Southern cook
Rohin: LOL
Mallory: maybe he makes great chicken and dumplings
Rohin: omg can you imagine like
fried chicken with tandoorI seasoning
Mallory: ooh
I’d eat that
Rohin: ohhh “there’s been another man” has two meanings
because Giles had sex with that janitor and Alim has a movie star ghost friend
Mallory: oh my goddddd
Alim do you seriously think that Giles knows you’re talking about Cary Grant
he had another sex partner and you just had a HALLUCINATION
Rohin: “oh shit he’s onto me he knows I’m losing it, better kiss him”

Mallory: !
okay
any post-viewing thoughts??
Rohin: ok
so
it’s an uneven movie
and the 6.6/10 rating it has on IMDB is pretty charitable
BUTT
BUTTTTTT
it’s pretty remarkable
because it’s one of a few films to actually explore queer sexuality in the South Asian community
in a way where someone’s not getting HIV
or from some other tragic angle
that sounds callous but what I mean is
Bollywood has done some great films about male queer sexuality
but they always pivot around the AIDs epidemic
so the narrative becomes like
queer Desis = sickness

Mallory: we should make this a series
Rohin: you’re an awesome film watching buddy
so I’d be so on board with that
Mallory: you are too
Rohin: I’ve always been really forgiving with this film
Mallory: it isn’t great but
Rohin: because the mom gets over her biases
Mallory: the actors are really solid
Rohin: and has love for her son and her son-in-law
Mallory: especially Suleka Mathew and Jimi Mistry
Rohin: and that’s kind of rad
Mallory: yeah definitely
I don’t even know what to say about Giles
and the various
things he says
Rohin: it’s strange because
there is a strain of “Western” films
that target South Asians
in diaspora communities
(UK, US, Canada etc)
that are progressive
Bend It Like Beckham was another one
Mallory: oh god
Rohin: they always find a way to explore sexuality somehow
Mallory: WHY COULDN’T THAT MOVIE END WITH LESBIANISM
Rohin: and in a non-tragic context
Mallory: sobs brokenly
yes!
and coming out isn’t the SOLE narrative point
Rohin: yes
I dislike movies
that are about “MOM WHY WONT YOU ACCEPT ME RIGHT AWAY”
I think it can be a selfish demand that many queer men tend to make
like, your parents are of another time
and many of them are trying
find a way to tell them
and let them process it
in ways, I find this flick to be more earnest than something like Queer As Folk
which presents this alternate reality of queer male sexuality
Mallory: right
Rohin: where we need our moms to be PFLAG moms
Mallory: well I think a lot of gay/bi media can tend to be really “fantastic” in the sense that you’re either Evil and Unaccepting
or Good and Open-Minded
Rohin: especially when this came out, a decade ago
Mallory: where the parents are given no warning and no time to process an emotional revelation mom
Rohin: YES
exactly
it’s something they’re going to be working through for the rest of their lives
it makes sense to us
but it’s an upset to the values in which they were raised
some might say I’m copping out
but I believe in kind of saying, “Hey parents, you did a good job raising me–and this is kind of a difficult, murky situation. so take your time with this. I’m in no rush to have you learn all of it right now” in some cases

Rohin: this film was also released a decade ago
that was a different era
Mallory: I was in high school in the Bay Area and it was a HUGE DEAL that Gavin Newsom was marrying people in SF
Rohin: right
because on the whole I thought the movie did a great job showing the mom’s side of things
this flick throws the religious and race angle into the mix
but it was thin
Mallory: but then there’s that one scene where Alim tells Giles “she’s BACKWARDS and not like ME”
Rohin: the thing is that
even 10 years ago
I thought the mom’s character
was remarkably progressive
for an Indian mom
Mallory: basically once she hears that Alim loves Giles, she’s pretty much on board
Rohin: which they needed for the movie to progress as it did
but still
I mean a lot of queer media still doesn’t really know how to discuss the intersection of race and sexuality
Mallory: lol
Rohin: lol

Mallory: ok so here is my question
Rohin: yes?
Mallory: did it feel weird in that scene that they had Alim say “she’s backwards, she’s Muslim, etc” and have Giles say essentially “you’re being racist”?
because between that and the fact that earlier the guy who asked Alim where he was “really” from was also Indian
it felt weird
like, that’s typically a question I think of as being asked by white people
and it felt intentional somehow
that both times they flipped the script
Rohin: it was sloppy writing
with Giles vs Alim
Mallory: for sure
Rohin: I think Alim meant to say that his mother was very traditionally Muslim
so Giles couldn’t say “you’re being racist”
because that kind of assertion means that she has strong cultural values
Mallory: ahh
Rohin: now, the shirtless dude in the club vs Alim
that was straight-up racism
and it’s weird
because you tell people that’s racism
and they’re like, “he didn’t insult him how is it racism”
but he’s making these horrible assumptions about his race and culture and objectifying him based on those assumptions
Mallory: RIGHT
Rohin: I never quite understand why people need to try to tackle the race question so immediately
in like a dating or flirting context
that situation feels way too familiar to me
Mallory: well you said guys have said stuff like that to you at bars before, yeah?
Rohin: oh totally.
“you’re exotic”
“what are you”
“where are you from”
“you have such interesting features”
bitch let me show you my Pegasus wings
Mallory: lolllll
FWOOM
(that’s the sound of wings opening)
Rohin: the strangest thing
these comments
happen in areas where the gay clientele are mostly white, everyone wants to box you in
because in areas where the gay clientele is an even mix
everyone just has a better knowledge of the world
and somehow
not being able to pinpoint your racial heritage
Mallory: use your Pegasus wings to get out of that box
Rohin: makes people SO nervous
Mallory: “I MUST KNOW”
Rohin: “I MUST KNOW YOUR SECRETS”
Mallory: lollll
Rohin: “SHUT UP FOR A SECOND THIS IS MY SONG” is a thing i’ve said in response
Mallory: ahahhahaha
Rohin: sometimes I just say “seriously? that’s your opening line? try harder.”
men are strange beasts
Giles and Alim’s relationship
is so cute for the most part
because he doesn’t really other him
in fact, he’s the one trying to help him deal with his issues of internalized homophobia/racism
and that’s mighty of him
Mallory: Mighty Whitey you might even say
Rohin: HAHAHA
Mallory: lol sorry
Rohin: I mean what was such a lure about that movie to you
Mallory: ooh that is a good question
I mean I love gay movies
LOVE them
gay or lesbian or bi or whatever, I don’t care
I just remember like
in high school
watching gay movies with the only out friend I had at the time
and being like
four steps behind being able to acknowledge ‘I am this and this is me’
but able to be acknowledge ‘this is fascinating and I need to see this’
Rohin: yes
YES
TOTALLY.
Mallory: and this came out my sophomore year in high school
Rohin: I watched so many terrible gay/lesbian movies too
Mallory: and I remember so vividly for some reason, not when he kisses Giles
but when his cousin kisses him
I think maybe BECAUSE it’s so unexpected?
like my heart just stopped
and I was like
‘oh no’
‘I don’t know what it is about this but you’re not supposed to do it and this is important and I can’t miss it’
I was so divorced from myself at that age (lol not like now when I am 100% self actualized)
I could barely articulate what I wanted
and I think Alim has the same problem?
so I could relate to him
like I remember
there was this girl in my math class
and she was gorgeous, she looked like Apollo
and one night I gave her a ride home from a party
and she slept on my floor at my house that night
we weren’t very close friends or anything but I was just
mesmerized by her
and I could barely sleep that night
Rohin: you had all the feelings
Mallory: I was like
AAAACHING
not necessarily to go cuddle up with her on the floor
but
Rohin: I mean figure out what those feelings were
Mallory: to talk to her or connect or acknowledge her outness or my attraction to her SOMEHOW
Rohin: and why it was so tough to give them language
Mallory: and I did not at alllllll
yeah
and I just
I still remember that night
and I KICK myself for not at least trying to talk to her
she was at my house!
she clearly did not mind hanging out!
then she went to an all-female college and became the BDOC and I missed my chance

Rohin: I mean so the weird thing
is whenever I go to India
dudes are pretty openly affectionate with one another
in the sense that they walk around with their arms around each other
like they’re chums
but
they are still #nohomo
so it’s a cultural taboo to desire the same sex
but it’s okay to express some kind of platonic affection
Mallory: interesting
Rohin: and bear in mind it’s now kind of illegal to be gay in India
so
I imagine though
that the confusion
Mallory: yeah
Rohin: behind the #nohomo sensitivity with the affection
leads that kind of weird kissing cousins scenario
that they shoved in at the last minute into the movie
because it’s just all of this stuff that’s forbidden and don’t ask don’t tell
Mallory: so it’s all put in the same category
an adult gay relationship versus kids messing around?
Rohin: I don’t know that much
but I mean it’s all just WRONG.
and you know how kids love breaking rules or exploring taboos or whatever
I mean, it’s a mess
then again, nobody has ever offered me a mimosa while calling me a samosa
Mallory: Someday.

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again