Chinese Puzzle – Gay Couples In Film

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It’s been over a decade since Cédric Klapisch first introduced us to the beloved group of friends sharing a Barcelona apartment in Pot Luck. Three years later, they were brought back together for a wedding in Russian Dolls and now a third outing arrives in the form of Chinese Puzzle. Xavier’s (Romain Duris) life is turned upside down when his wife Wendy (Kelly Reilly) announces she’s moving to New York and is taking the children. A few months later, he’s on a trans-Atlantic flight as well. From fathering a child for his gay best friend, to marrying a Chinese-American to get papers, to reigniting a flame with his first love Martine (Audrey Tautou) who comes for a visit, Xavier and his world really does seem like a Chinese Puzzle…

To celebrate the release of CHINESE PUZZLE, in cinemas today, we look back at other memorable films featuring gay, lesbian couples and how they are reflected differently in each film.

Chinese Puzzle (2013)

Xavier has quite the complicated life when his wife decides to move to New York taking the children with her, and to make matters ever more complex one of his gay best friends, Isabelle (Cécile De France), would like him to become a sperm donor for her future family. Moving to New York to be close to his children, Xavier finds himself caught up in all the drama of going through a divorce, meeting the new man in his wife’s life and marrying a Chinese-American in order to stay in the country. On top of this Xavier is now playing a small part in the life of his third child, parented by the lesbian couple Isabelle and Ju. The dynamic of this unusual threesome proves to be quite comical as a result of the drama that unfolds amongst all of them.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

Nominated for four Academy Awards, The Kids Are All Right follows a gay couple, and their dysfunctional but happy family. Nic is a physician, while Jules is less secure in her job. Their kids want to find sperm donor Dad and once introduced to him he complicates their lives. Jules finds herself having an affair with their father, the kids are a wreck, and Paul tries to convince her to leave Nic. However dysfunctional their relationship is, their love gets them through the hard times.

Milk (2008) 

Based on the real life of Harvey Milk, this film introduces the first openly gay politician and gay rights activist. The film begins on the eve of his 40th birthday where he meets his younger lover Scott Smith. The two move to San Francisco hoping to be more accepted by society. Smith becomes Milks campaign manager, and they support each other throughout the films entirety.

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

Megan is a stereotypical cheerleader at high school with a jock boyfriend, but her parents suspect her of being gay. She is sent to a place called True Directions where she embraces her sexuality and finds a love interest Graham. The two fall in love in the institute and after struggling against parents, they both accept each other and rebel against their parents. Being forced to reject their sexuality only makes them closer in the end.

I Love You, Phillip Morris (2009) 

The true story of Steven Russell was a cop turned con man in the 80s. He falls in love with fellow inmate Phillip Morris and will do anything to be with him, including escaping from prison. He begins to be obsessed with Phillip and makes up all sorts of lies in order for them to be together. This crazy relationship becomes so unbelievable that it becomes a very comedic drama. The happy ending Phillip longs for never happens because he based the whole relationship on lies and conning.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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