What’s turning me on this week?
G.I. Joe. But not for the reasons you’d think.
Let’s face it. There’s nothing really deep about G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It’s a summer action movie from a chidlren’s toy franchise that does nothing more but blow a bunch of shit up and set up for a sequel. It’s fun, and it’s better than I thought it would be. Personally, I wasn’t super excited about seeing the movie, but when a certain FSR Editor asked me to a very private screening at a theatre that would serve me beer in buckets, I was game.
Yes, the men are ripped meatheads, and the women are wearing leather and camos. Our main Joe, Duke (Channing Tatum), delivers a near silent performance of chiseled gruffness that I was especially fond of. Oh, and ladies — he cleans up well, too. Like, really well. Really really well. I sort of wanted to be his soap. And, boys, even with her cartoonish cape (which no doubt some of you will find sexy in itself), the Baronness (played by one of my favorites and yours — new brunette Sienna Miller) has got it going on. I spent half the movie mesmerized by the Baronness’s boobs, and the other half wondering how exactly they made Sienna Miller’s specific boobs look like that. I mean, come on, we’ve all seen Factory Girl. Long story short, if you’re a teenaged boy, a fan of muscly all-American-style men, or Sarah Palin (women in camos, y’all.), you’ll think this is a sexy movie. And, while there are certainly some clumsy misfires, overall, the sexual elements work. Translation: there’s enough cleavage and six packs to warrant at least a matinee ticket price.
But, what’s really turning me on? The interplay between Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) and Scarlett (Rachel Nichols). This may not seem like a big deal to most, but I deeply respect what the film and filmmakers are doing here. Think about it. This is a family movie, a movie (despite what the production stills might show you) that will work best on pre-teen boys. It’s a movie geared toward the heart and soul of the American public; it plays on your patriotism and your daddy/older brother/creepy uncle’s favorite toys. The good guys are Americans, the bad guys are a veritable rainbow coalition of every nationality that’s not. (Caveat: Breaker is cast and dressed well, with the message clearly sent that all French people, those of Arab/Persian descent, and/or those who wear those bulky scarf things in the middle of the summer aren’t necessarily pussies or enemies of the United States. Go Joe.)
When you see an interracial Ripcord and Scarlett harmlessly flirting and, in the end, having a more convincing (albeit budding) relationship than the other pair of lovers, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air. The sexiest thing about this movie is that it is both brashly American but subtly nods its head in recognition of the changing landscape of our country. Many families will see this movie, and the young people that populate those families. It’s our job as a culture to nourish positive change, and Rip and Scarlett’s on-screen, relatively neutered relationship definitely does so, and in a non-threatening-to-the-old-ways way.
Could G.I. Joe have taken up the issue of gays in the military? I wish. But this movie isn’t a political forum in the least; it just wouldn’t have been appropriate. Instead, what G.I. Joe does and does well, is recognize that a new status quo has been birthed in America. There’s no implicit comment, specific endorsement or condemning of previously unacceptable romantic standards for the American populous. The relationship is shallow, like the movie, but it certainly shows off what America looks like today and will look like tomorrow. And that, my friends, is sexy.
Want some sex advice? Turned On, Tuned In author Bethany Perryman is here for you. You can get ‘in touch’ with her via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or follow her stream of hotness on Twitter at twitter.com/bethatasitmay