Thursday, September 24, 2009
Rather than detail why I loved a Taxi Driver for fanboys starring Patton Oswalt and climaxing on Passyunk Avenue (the appeal seems pretty obvious to me, cartoonish supporting cast aside), I'd rather bring up a subject I haven't seen acknowledged in any reviews. So...
SUBTEXTUAL SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Is there any reason to believe that Oswalt's character is not gay? It's announced he's a compulsive masturbator, but he never shows the slightest interest in the opposite sex (the ladies at the strip club don't even make him blink). He sleeps under a crotch-centric poster of his favorite footballer, and has slo-mo visions of the sweat-dripping jock when he sleeps. A resolute Catholic, he denies any interest in the kind of life his married siblings have, and seems happy to spend his nights with his henpecking mother. The film even peaks with Oswalt locking a gay-baiting Eagles fan ("Giants fans suck my balls!") in a men's room and blowing a load (of sorts) on him. I'm glad the film never makes it overt - it would have reduced the scope - but writer/director Robert Siegel would have thrown a small cop to heteronormative behavior if he didn't want us to see it.