Gulp. If the trailer makes me sob (and it did again just now), what is the movie itself going to do to me?! I’ll be a wailing, weepy mess. (Side note: according to IMDb, Helen Mirren was originally cast in the Mariah Carey role. Whuh?)
Precious is “presented” by Oprah Winfrey, and I hope it heralds the return of the Oprah I used to love: the one who was so mesmerizing in The Color Purple; the one who reminded everyone to read Maya Angelou when things seem impossible. The one who had something to say, before all the book club stuff and the Tom-Cruise-hopping-on-the-couch stuff. Oprah used to tell stories that just weren’t being told anywhere else, and it looks like Precious aims to do the same thing.
The other big name behind the movie is Tyler Perry, which prompts two questions for me: first, can you imagine the unstoppable movie empire Winfrey and Perry could create if they joined forces? Gosh. Second, and I know this might sound silly, but where’s the Tyler Perry for lesbians? I wish we had someone out there making film after film about lady-lovers in all our different guises. Instead of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, we’d have Journal of a Separatist Lesbian. Or instead of Madea Goes to Jail, we’d have Mel Goes to a Piercing Parlor.
On the other hand, maybe we’re really lacking an audience, rather than a director/producer/writer/other creative force. Are lesbians just not loyal to their own images in the way that African-American audiences are? We’re hungry for representations of ourselves, but we don’t always back up our wishes with our wallets. I guess that’s because many lesbian-themed films never make it past the festival circuit — I happily shelled out money for Itty Bitty Titty Committee, but a lot of heartland dykes never got the chance to do so.
I know it’s foolish to draw parallels between race and sexuality, let alone the “cultures” associated with them (and I’m using the quotation marks for gay culture, not black culture). But I do sometimes wish we had a niche at the box office. Like Precious, I just want to know that sometimes I’m wanted — and even loved. And now I’m going to get all weepy again!