Early on in Across the Universe, the new Beatles movie musical that I kind of love and kind of hate at the same time, a character named Prudence (played by T.V. Carpio—Filipina power!) sings "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" longingly at a high school football player. The fluffy Beatles ditty gains some heft when given context (as is the case with most of the tunes in the film), and I unwittingly braced myself when she pleads, "Oh please say to me/You'll let me be your...." I thought to myself, She can switch genders, but then it won't rhyme! Oh crap, what is she going to do?! Take a look at this 35-second clip, and then return for my amazing follow-up commentary:
So, yes, she keeps the gender, which sounds weird, but at least the rhyme scheme isn't fucked up. But then...then...right after that clip ends, we get another point of view shot, but this time the football player is gone, and we realize that Prudence is singing to the cheerleader! Oh my god, it's a lesbian surprise! I'm always kind of shocked when there's a lesbian surprise, so I actually audibly gasped.
Much of Julie Taymor's 31 musical numbers of 31 Beatles songs (I don't know about you, but that's a shitload too many) is wildly imaginative and visually stunning, but a lot of it also had me declaring repeatedly during the screening I went to: "What the fuck is this?!" It's the exact same feeling I got when I first saw the trailer:
Yup, the movie is just like that, only a lot longer. With lesbians.