Did Former 'Salon' Critic Charles Taylor Pull A Lee Siegel?

Salon film critic Stephanie Zacharek is married to former Salon film critic Charles Taylor, who was fired by editor-in-chief and president-for-life Joan Walsh a week after she took the job in 2005. (Walsh insisted that Taylor had been "laid off" for budgetary reasons; he, somewhat famously, scoffed at those allegations a year later, and in doing so pretty much burned every barely standing bridge he had left.) So is it possible that he's now showing up in the letters section of one of his wife's reviews?

The review in question was for the critically savaged Adam Sandler vehicle I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which Zacharek suspects "is less a comedy than a sincere if sometimes heavy-handed brief for the necessity of legalizing gay marriage." Some of her readers didn't like that because it was too PC! But then one of them also said Zacharek is a homophobe, and cited an article by a man named Robert Fuller that explained why! Confusing! That's when an anonymous commenter threw his (or maybe her) hat into the ring. Someone who sure did seem to know a whole lot about film criticism!

Robert Fuller's article, so touted, is one of the largest piles of horseshit I've ever read. Brokeback Mountain is the ultimate closeted movie. It was boring and trite when it was called Out of Africa (now if it had been Out of the Closet in Africa ...). It's dead, prestige filmmaking in which any emotion is smoothed down in the name of taste and production values. People who repress their sexuality live with turbulence boiling under the surface. A movie has to make us feel that even if the characters keep their turbulence under wraps. BM was nothing but dull, dead surfaces with the kind of stoic manliness that ruined Gary Cooper's career.

Funny how everyone assumes Chuck and Larry is offensive — though the gay film critic Nathan Lee in the Village Voice called it a more radical film than Brokeback. People marrying for convenience is a staple of comedy. If gay marriage can be treated the same way straight marriage has been, isn't that a sign that the very idea of it is becoming more accepted?

And contrary to the previous correspondent who can't read, if this had been a dishonest review, it would have pretended it was a good movie because Zacharek agrees with gay mamrriage. Instead, she said a movie whose message she agreed with was bad. That's called separating aesthetics from message, knowing one doesn't justify the other. It's what critics do.

Hmm! Well, Taylor does like the word "horseshit." He also likes to write about Gary Cooper . You do the math?

Letters: "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry" [Salon]