After We Were Here and United in Anger, today's aids doc How To Survive a Plague has an average rating of 90 on Metacritic, meaning "universal acclaim." The San Francisco Chronicle says it "lingers as a testament to extraordinary human bravery. It stands as one of the most heartbreaking and suspenseful sagas of the year." It opens in NYC, LA, SF, and Chicago; next week: DC, Atlanta, and Cambridge.
Stephen Chbosky's million-copy-selling first novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now a movie that he adapted and directed. Most critics have singled out its gay character, Patrick, played by Ezra Miller. EW gave the movie an A, citing Patrick as "a kind of teenage Oscar Wilde played by the mesmerizing Ezra Miller... The movie is tough-minded: It zeroes in on Patrick's anger at dating a closeted football star." (The quarterback is played by Johnny Simmons, right in OUT's moody photo.) Salon's Andrew O'Hehir writes:
"Here he takes one of the most hackneyed central-casting roles in the lexicon – the wisecracking gay sidekick, who covers his pain with laughter – and fills every moment with awkward significance... Patrick is trying on semi-adult masks to see if they fit. He’s doing so in that confusing post-Harvey Milk, pre-gay marriage era when LGBT rights was emerging as a national issue but options for real-life gay kids in suburbia were pretty limited."
On the lasting importance of pop entertainment, Daniel Mendelsohn's new essay revisits landmark gay TV moments, from Paul Lynde to Dynasty to Brideshead to Will & Grace to the Glee kiss that made him cry.