Open Up to Me is a bit of a mind-bending movie that explores issues of sexuality. I consider it a football film even though the soccer connection is a little weak, as the football provides the normalcy in the story.
Fuera de Juego (Offside) has won awards for pondering the question: why aren’t there openly gay male pro soccer players in Spain? This question could equally be asked in many other countries. The sad truth for LGBT players is that coming out of the closet could destroy one’s career.
You’re probably too young to have seen Some Like it Hot, an iconic 1959 comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. In defiance of the film industry’s Hays Code, the film flirted with topics of homosexuality and cross-dressing.
Retaining its stage heritage, The Pass takes place in 3 hotel rooms at 5 year intervals. On the eve of a Champions League game, 2 young footballer teammates share a gay encounter that shapes their subsequent careers.
Five years later, Jason (Russell Tovey) is an EPL star going through a divorce and uses a table dancer to disprove gay rumors. In another 5 years, Jason is without a club and invites his old teammate Ade (Arinzé Kene) to his hotel room for a reunion. Still passing as straight, perhaps even Jason doesn’t know why he has sought out Ade after a 10-year silence.
Mario is like Shakespeare in Love on a football pitch, where two teammates cannot be together because society pulls them apart. I’ve seen a bunch of gay soccer films, and Mario is the first one that has quite an emphasis on the football.
Whether you are straight or gay, Forbidden Games documents a story that is tough to watch. As his brother John has noted, if Justin Fashanu had been born 30 years later, he would have been a hero. Instead, Justin’s life story is filled with regret from almost all who knew him.
Stop right there, I’m being as misleading as the film. Justin Fashanu would have been a hero today had he simply been a proud gay man, a black man, and a good footballer.
For a guy taking his first steps in creating a film, Director Rhys Chapman made all the right moves. He strategically took Wonderkid from awareness campaign, to fund raising, through a 5-day shoot, and then to fruition. All along, his mission was to educate viewers by portraying homophobia and the need to counter it by Being Yourself at the highest levels of British football.
You can look at Sassy Player in two ways: either it’s a screwball comedy, or it’s an LGBT coming of age in Thailand soccer movie. Director Poj Arnon’s film แต วเตะตีนระเบิด is a weird combination of the two genres. The 16 new boys in a formerly all-girls high school are forced to form a school soccer team, even though 6-7 of them would rather be cheerleaders.
The flamboyant queens scream whenever the ball comes towards them, but they hang together enough to arrive at the league championship.
The easiest way to describe Land of Storms (Viharsarok) is a Hungarian Brokeback Mountain for soccer players. I confess that I watched this movie at 2x speed because of its slow pace and plethora of homophobic violence.
There are also a lot of sex scenes and even a 3-way, but the scenes aren’t very sexy.
This German soccer movie, Guys and Balls, is predictable but very cute. Ecki, a small-town goalkeeper and baker, is kicked off his semi-pro team for being gay. In defiance, he organizes an all-gay team to play against his former team in their home stadium, resulting in a nice strike against homophobia.
In The Soccer Nanny, a recently widowed mother (ex-pornstar Traci Lords) hires a male au pair from Norway to provide a role model for her 9 and 16 year old sons while she runs the family’s bison farm in the “Little Sweden” town of Lindsborg, Kansas.
Kickoff is about the first game of the season for a man who puts together a 5-man gay team for a Sunday league. He wants his players to act manly like footballers, but instead this flamboyant, very buff crew is far out in left field.
Lesbianas de Buenos Aires is not really a soccer movie. Neither is it a movie that Howard Sterns would salivate over. It is a documentary of interviews of several unrelated 30ish lesbians.
Eleven Men Out is not really a soccer movie. It has 30 seconds of soccer and a lot of sexuality, mostly gay (rated R). As a character says, there is not much else to do in Iceland.
A top player comes out of the closet, switches to a team that has some gays, the straights quit, and the team becomes all gay. They win the league because the other teams forfeit.
The filmmakers for this movie deceptively use the names of David Beckham and Michael Owen to attract attention. Because When Beckham Met Owen has no story of its own to draw viewers.