By Romeo San Vicente
Latifah’s ‘last holiday’
When you think of Queen Latifah’s acting counterparts, it’s not a big mental leap to Sir Alec Guinness, now is it? Well, then, it won’t be for long – Latifah will take on a role created by the late, closeted actor in the upcoming “Last Holiday.” The remake will stick close to the original story, with the Oscar nominee starring as a woman who discovers she has very little time left to live and decides to vacation at a fancy resort. Because she’s unfamiliar with the ways of the rich, her behavior strikes resort patrons as eccentric – in their minds, the mark of the super-rich – and they begin following her social lead. No doubt Latifah’s boisterous, but thoroughly likable, screen presence will irk fans of the original and win over everyone else.
Kylie + ‘Queer Eye’ = Gay Overload
They’ve found a way to make “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” even gayer than it already is: bring in Kylie Minogue. Next to Madonna – whose throne she may very well usurp sooner or later – Minogue is probably the biggest gay pop icon around these days, thanks to her never-ending succession of dance hits. So it made good corporate sense to tie her latest single and album release into the successful “make-better” show. Minogue will guest star in an upcoming episode (doing who knows what: singing? dancing? looking foxy? painting a bookcase?), appear on the show’s soundtrack CD, and generally make sure her scores of gay male fans can’t get her out of their heads. Romeo just hopes the Fab Five will be able to concentrate on their straight subject’s needs while she’s in the room.
‘Brother to Brother’ comes out at Sundance
Yet another queer addition has been made to January’s Sundance Film Festival schedule, but this one is unique. “Brother to Brother,” director Rodney Evans’ debut narrative feature (he also directed a feature-length documentary in 1996 called “The Unveiling”), will premiere in Park City, Utah, and be that rarity among rarities: a feature film about a gay African-American man. It stars Anthony Mackie (“8 Mile”) as a young gay art student who befriends a surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance. The old man, in turn, helps the younger one find his sense of identity. The movie also stars up-and-coming actor Aunjanue Ellis (“Undercover Brother”) and – with a little help from the spirit of Langston Hughes – might just find its way onto art-house screens soon.
Pure gay imagination
The more Romeo learns about the impending Tim Burton remake of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” – most likely to take the original book’s title of “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” – the less peeved he is by the very fact of its existence. First, there’s the news that Johnny Depp will probably step into the Candy Man’s shoes (and if you can’t get Marilyn Manson, Depp’s the next best thing). And now comes word that cool gay scribe John August (“Go,” “Charlie’s Angels”) will be penning the screenplay. Not that being a homo makes you a good screenwriter, but August has written some darn funny stuff. So with any luck, the story’s bizarro nature – its inherently queer sense of reality, if you will – has a good chance of remaining intact and tasting like the Snozzberries that fans of the original remember.