A consistent theme on this blog has been one of books and movies that explore the in’s and the out’s (in more ways than one…) of being gay or lesbian in a small town. In general, I find personally and also through the things that I review that it’s pretty rough going out there to be an out member of the LGBT community in small town USA.
What if it wasn’t so hard? What would it be like to go back to our roots in one of the little towns or burgs where so many of us grew up and be accepted as our gay old selves? That’s what happens in the aptly named but, unfortunately, fictional town of Big Eden, Wyoming in the movie named, you guessed it, Big Eden.
Big Eden was released in 2000 for showing at gay and lesbian film festivals. It was produced on VHS and then, in 2002, released to DVD. Yes, it’s 12 years old. Yes, it’s still interesting and relevant and if you haven’t seen it, you should. If nothing else, it will renew your sense of hope that one day we can all go back home and be ourselves.
The premise simple:
Henry (played by Arye Gross) is an artist who left Big Eden years ago. He’s about to “make it big” in New York City when he gets word that his grandfather, the man who raised him, has suffered a stroke. Henry rushes back to Montana and his roots to be with his family in a time of need. While there, of course, he meets up with his old crush who’s newly divorced from a traditional straight marriage and who just might be leaning Henry’s way. Of course, there’s a spoiler in the mix in the form of another potential love interest for Henry too. Throw in several townspeople conspiring to aide the course of love and you get quite an entertaining story.
Yes, you have to suspend reality for this movie but, really, how is that different from most of the movies you see? Do yourself a favor and see this movie but do it with the thinking that, someday, it really can be this way!