Cowboys Consternation

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    When the Los Angeles Times first reviewed “Brokeback Mountain,” a film that chronicles a friendship and love story between two cowboys, it praised the film but posed the question, “Will it play in Plano?”The more apt question might have been, “Will it play in Fort Worth?”

    In a city where the tip of a white Stetson is synonymous with, “Howdy ma’am,” and boots are more common than Manolos, the fate of a gay cowboy movie seemed doomed from the start.

    To the surprise of many and the consternation of others, however, “Brokeback Mountain” is actually playing and thriving in Fort Worth.

    “I loved it,” said sophomore marketing major Caroline Trum. “I went with a group of my friends, boys and girls, over the weekend and we all thought it was great.”

    Since it opened in Fort Worth on Dec. 16, “Brokeback Mountain” has continuously been added to more and more screens and is now showing at eight locations in the greater Fort Worth area.

    For Jeff Geider, the associate director of the ranch management program, the film doesn’t have much relevance to TCU’s Ranch Management Program, and the ranch life depicted in the movie is just the setting, he said.

    “Is it a reflection of ranch life or just life in general,” Geider said. “I would argue that it’s a depiction of life with the background of ranch life.”

    Right wing and Christian conservative groups have posted articles on blogs and Web sites condemning the film and Hollywood as a whole.

    According to the Web site for Catholic Apologetics International, a group self-identified as Christians aspiring to the “highest moral standards,” “Brokeback Mountain” is “propaganda” that is only being used to gain acceptance for the homosexual lifestyle.

    “And how do the movie makers pull off such a dazzling feat? Simple, They do it by raping the Marlboro Man, that revered American symbol of rugged individualism and masculinity,” the article stated.

    Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, “Brokeback Mountain” has remained one of the top 10 grossing films since it opened six weeks ago, roping in more than $51,024,343.

    TCU sociology professor Michael Katovich said that generations of “buddy movies” and epic Westerns have prepared the American public for a film like “Brokeback Mountain.”

    “Obviously there is nothing explicitly homosexual in these films from the ’60s and ’70s, but there is this idea of a very deep bond that develops between two men,” Katovich said.

    Deviant or not, “Brokeback Mountain” has taken the country by storm and forever changed the way America – and Fort Worth – thinks about two men alone on a ranch.

    “Brokeback Mountain” is playing at Rave Motion Picture Ridgmar 13 and at several other locations around Fort Worth.