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In the wake of Brokeback Mountain's success, Twentieth Century Fox has rereleased Making Love (1982) on DVD.

This was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to depict the coming out experience in a realistic manner. It was a flop at the time -- a bridge too far for some viewers and not far enough for others. Rarely seen on television and largely unavailable on VHS, Fox has finally reissued this important film.

I've wanted to see this film for many years and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The movie tells the story of a married doctor (Michael Ontkean) who has repressed his homosexuality for years but can no longer deny it. Kate Jackson plays Ontkean's wife and Harry Hamlin plays the "other man" in Ontkean's life. I thought Ontkean, Jackson and Hamlin were all excellent in their roles and, as a gay man myself, I could totally identify with Ontkean's character.

I had a quibble with the ending in that it felt rushed. Ontkean doesn't even tell Jackson that he's gay until about 1 hour and twenty minutes into the film and that only leaves about another twenty five minutes to tie up the events in the film. This is one instance where I would have preferred a longer film so that the aftermath of Ontkean's declaration to Jackson didn't feel so hurried. (Loved the final shots of Kate Jackson, though, when you realize from her facial expressions that he was the great love of her life and that she loved him enough to let him go.)

These are minor quibbles, though, to what is a frequently outstanding film. The DVD doesn't contain many extras -- there is no commentary track from Ontkean, Jackson and Hamlin, for instance. That's a pity as it would have been interesting to hear their thoughts on making a movie that was way ahead of its time.

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Thanks, miliosr. I saw it not too long ago on cable, where it does show up from time to time, and although I must respectfully disagree and say that the picture as a whole isn’t so great, there are some good things in it. Specifically, I thought the account of the illicit affair was interesting. Ontkean is a happily married doctor who realizes that all is not well when Harry Hamlin shows up at his clinic for a checkup. The two go out to lunch and complications ensue. Once their affair begins, Ontkean imprints on Hamlin as a duckling does its mother, and the only thing he wants to do is reconstruct his life just the way it was – only with a man and not a woman. The year being 1980, however, Hamlin has other fish to fry and zero interest in settling down with anybody. I thought the resolution of this dilemma and some of the exchanges between Ontkean and Hamlin were well handled.

Hamlin has said that he thought the failure of the movie sabotaged his career in feature films.

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