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  • Writer's picturemarikenney

"I Say A Little Prayer for You": Julia Roberts and the Magical Queer

Throughout entertainment history, filmmakers' utilized the use of the Magical "insert any people group labeled 'other' by the straight, white dudes " as an ineffective and ignorant way to introduce widespread audiences to other people groups. These "magical" characters were presented as an amalgamation of exaggerated stereotypes from unenlightened filmmakers who only perpetuated the idea that people groups were monoliths. "What is the truth for one, is the truth for all."

These characters were portrayed as supernaturally good at knowing exactly what the main character needed. They would fix any problem with a smile on their face. The Magical character's main objectives were to support, hype up, direct, care for, heal, and save the main character. They were made into easily digestible pieces for the population to consume.

Unfortunately, the characters were flat, cardboard cutouts of the real thing, with no real desire, just the need to serve. Essentially, their narrative was taken away from them. Their story handed over to the audience and made into whatever the audience wanted it to be.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I fell victim to this way of thinking, and I know that I've said and done things that were straight up ignorant as hell, because of the movies and television stereotypes I'd watched, and me not being able to discern that what is on the screen, wasn't reality.

Thankfully, I've educated myself and stopped being such a dingus.

Recently, I wanted to revisit some of those films.

So, I re-watched My Best Friend's Wedding.

Quick rundown of the plot (if you are unfamiliar), because after doing an open mic comedy night where I made a joke about Vanilla Ice (assuming everyone knew the man) I found out quickly - that no, I am old now. The world will continue to turn as I hold on to my vast knowledge of 80s and 90s pop culture.

Plot: Julianne aka Jules (Julia Roberts) has a very close relationship with her super straight - super hot friend Michael (Dermont Mulroney). Julianne also has a very close relationship with her super gay - super hot friend George (Rupert Everett).

Julianne and George hang out all the time and complain about their lives. More so -she complains - he listens - and offers a good quick bite of wisdom for her (Yas, queen, slay! - get it girl!)

Michael contacts Julianne and tells her he is in love and is getting married to Kimberly Wallace (Cameron Diaz). Juliane is straight up - not okay with this.

The movie is Julianne being a little petty baby trying to ruin Michael and Kimberly's wedding.

It doesn't work. Everyone is happy at the end. Michael marries Kimberly and Julianne ---

well....this is what I want to talk about.



First off, I want to say - Rupert Everett is amazing. Always has been and always will be.

Unfortunately, he wasn't utilized how he should have been. His character, George, was made to support Julianne.

She needed help.

Originally, the movie did not have as much for the character of George. In test viewings, the audiences absolutely hated Jules and didn't understand the motivations for her actions, so the studio decided to have George be Jules's sounding board.

Anytime she did a shitty, terrible thing, she would explain her actions to George. He had no other purpose than to make Jules look more human. Even though, in my reviewing, I found her to be the worst.

The thing that gets me is that his character is labeled as a gay man, but at the end

they change that into basically the knight in shining armor for Julianne's character. She desired loved and companionship, so George sacrificed his desires and needs to placate hers. His creation was for her needs.

In my re-watch of the movie, what I've learned is - we've come a long way in media with creating fully developed queer characters, but we're still learning. Hopefully, we'll continue.

Fingers crossed.

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