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Friday, 8 September 2017

Not So Mini Retro Review: Partners (1982) #badmovies

Gay Themed Buddy Cop Comedy

Partners is a painfully outdated, old-fashioned and unfunny homophobic comedy from the early 1980s, starring the pairing of Ryan O'Neal and John Hurt that is in the vein of the buddy cop formula. It's basically The Odd Couple meets 48 Hrs, Lethal Weapon and all of those other similar movies, where two cops - one heterosexual, one homosexual - pose undercover as a gay couple, in order to nail a serial killer who is targeting the gay community. The attitudes of straight cop characters on show here borders on being derogatory and outdated with terms uttered such as queens and f*****s. Every time the F-word was blurted, I was embarrassed. In fact, I didn't laugh throughout. All the gay characters are depicted as queens with effeminate voices.

Directed by TV producer James Burrows, famed for sitcoms Cheers, Frasier, Friends, Two & Half Men & The Big Bang Theory, Partners is a buddy comedy movie that later spawned a short-lived TV remake in 2012 starring David Krumholtz and Michael Urie that lasted for just one season. In the TV series, the two main characters occupations were shifted from cops to lifelong partners in an architecture firm. It was met with negative to mixed reviews.

This film is mostly dull and the story drags and it takes a silly premise by resorting to stereotypes and cliches in an attempt to pass itself off as a comedy; surprisingly, the screenplay is written by Francis Veber, who previously did La Cage Aux Folles, the French gay- themed comedy which was later remade in the West as The Birdcage with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, & a film that is a tad more progressive, as well as funnier. It also features Ryan O' Neal in various getups and donning leather, but as I sat through this film, the longer it went on the more uncomfortable I felt. The homophobic slurs, bad humour and comedy and bland story & lack of genuine intrigue put paid to this atrocious comedy. This is far from challenging homophobic attitudes, but rather a film that more than less reinforces them.

Is it worth seeing? 

I was unimpressed and embarrassed all the way through: not only was it offensive, the comedy was bad and not the least bit amusing. It's an 80s movie where a premise such as this would not go down too well in today's age in a film like this. But then again, neither is it well conceived, well written and it is as dull as watching paint dry. & the use of gay slurs is just the tip of the iceberg for Partners


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