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I started Pride month by going to see Rocketman. I went to see it because I love Elton John, I love Taron Egerton and I love we have Pride month and not even Cheeto doing anti-LGBTQ shit is gonna fuck up my vibe. So yes. I did that. Now, you know that I am not exactly Roger Ebert and that my review is going to be bonkers. But if you are in my blog you don't give a shit about that, do you? So here you go.

First things first: IMHO Rocketman is better than Bohemian Rhapsody. In BR I felt the gay was always under control. The focus was on some kind of accuracy in the legacy of Queen they wanted to achieve. The main gay character was used as a plot device and then that was that. They even made people think that Freddy was 'bi'. Something to placate the straights that find gay sex icky, I guess. Rocketman is gay. No straightwashing there. And I enjoyed it much better. The movie is not perfect, the Rotten Tomatoes critics will tell you. And I don't even know what that means. What is it that makes a movie perfect? That it moves you? That the art direction is flawless? That the characters speak to you? That the music makes you wanna dance AND sing? That you love the star? So then this movie was perfect. For me.

Oh, it's an Elton John biopic so you have the usual flashbacks, the fantastic year-appropriate costumes and the toe-tapping music numbers. But here Taron actually sings the songs. Oh, you didn't know he sings? He does. He has actually sang before in a movie. Yep. he did that. And that adds a layer to the movie that makes it feel much... warmer? He also gives an excellent performance. Sometimes you forget he's NOT Elton. Also, this movie is not structured as a classic music biopic. It's more a cross between a musical and a play. I have no idea if that makes sense but that's how I saw it. I felt it tapped into the fantasy world of the artist and it made it more organic. It was an insight into the creative process. Also, the songs in the movie are not chronological. Instead, they follow and enrich the narrative of the story told in the movie. Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell being an absolute darling) was definitely on to something.

And there's the gay stuff. I also enjoyed that. Seeing Taron in short shorts and getting it on with Richard Madden did it for me. Instant chub. The movie is about a gay man and is produced by a gay man. The gay stuff is there and I was there for it. But the movie is not about Elton being gay. It's about Elton being a musician. And also about him trying every drug under the sun and whoring it out and being a dick, because that's what happens when you're 23 and are a world-famous closeted rock star with truckloads of money. In the movie, we see that Elton was a jerk at times and that's probably true. This is movie about a living (gay) rock star who had a hand on making this movie, not a movie about a dead rock star whose story is told through the eyes of the (straight) people who knew him. And it shows.

In the end, I think the movie does have a love story: Elton and Bernie. Singer and songwriter. Straight and gay. But no gay-for-pay bullshit here. It's a love letter to friendship, and the durable effect that loving someone (warts and all) has. There were two scenes that really gave me the feels: one where Bernie gives Elton the lyrics for 'Your Song' and he goes downstairs to the piano and cranks it up on the spot. The other one is when Elton reaches a breaking point after his horrible, terrible no good manager played by Richard Madden (who is insanely handsome and who definitely is a dick) shows him how little he cares about him and the weight of all those drugs hit. He dives head first in the pool and then he literally hits rock bottom and finds his younger self there and they duet Rocketman. I got goosebumps. Because I like movies that make me feel things. And this one did.

So there, it's up to you now. If I could, I go see it (again) with you. But it may not be possible. For whatever reasons. So go see it and then come back and tell me what you think. Did you love it? Did you loathe it? Let's have a convo. And yes, I would still let Taron push me against a wall and fuck the hell out of me. In or out of costume.

Happy Pride!




  1. spouse and I REALLY wanna see this movie!

  2. I do want to see this movie. And your review makes me want to see it even more. I’ve seen a few trailers for it and hopefully those aren’t the only good points. But your review tells me that’s not the case. Now to find, no, MAKE the time to go see it. Gotta make plans for the weekend. Maybe an early Sunday showing, because I’m cheap, you know. 😎

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

  3. Elton isn't a gay performer, he's a p former who is gay. The difference is subtle, but it's there.
    That said ...Taron and Madden? Yum.

  4. We saw it yesterday and LOVED it! Your review is right on. I agree that it's better than Bohemian Rhapsody, which I also enjoyed. Rocketman has a much deeper script and has a lot of important things to say about addiction and recovery. Those scenes are marvelous. And the music alone is worth the price of admission! You're also right that it is a much more accurate portrayal of gay reality than in Bohemian Rhapsody.

  5. What a perfect movie to go see during pride month! Thanks for the review.

  6. I like Elton's music; him, not so much. I prefer the early stuff pre Lion King. After that, meh! "I'm Still Standing" is my theme song. It captures it. The Broadway stuff I can do without. I'll watch the movie when it comes out on iTunes or Netflix. I gave up movie theaters a while back, what with cell phones, talkers, families, children, teenagers, text messages, pings, and other disturbances. Yes, I'm turning into that kind of man. If I go, I do so in the middle of the week, when every one's at work or school and I can have the place to myself. Grump!

  7. I may see it when it hits on demand. I have never been a huge Elton fan.

    Why did I just hear everybody faint?

  8. Big Elton fan here. I've seen him 5 times in concert, including one of his great 1976 shows at the Phillie Spectrum. He is a showman on stage. In his private life he's been an asshole more than once and his has apologized on occasion. I haven't seen this yet, but I will.

  9. @annemarie: yay! Let me know what you guys think.
    @bae: the second week also counts in box office returns 😎. And you know I love me a matinee.
    @Bob: I see what you say. Still, the movie has a clear gay sensibility. Yes, Taron and Madden have good chemistry. VERY good chemistry.
    @Debra: awesome! And I know, right? The way they talk about his lows is very real. He recovered but many do not. Think Amy and Janis and Kurt and Jimmy.
    @steve: this should be your Pride movie! 😉🤓
    @walter: I feel you. It’s again the art and the artist. I actually like Elton better now. The biopic has made him more human. And I still swoon to Your Song. It’s such a pretty song!
    @maddie: Lmaoooo yes, we reached for the salts. It’s a good theater movie. But I’ll watch it again when it’s streaming.
    @Dave: I was th8nking I should go see him when he comes to chi this summer. He IS showman. He found fame very young and it was unavoidable that he’s be a dick sometimes.



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