I review “I Am Michael,” The James Franco Ex-Gay Biopic

I review “I Am Michael,” The James Franco Ex-Gay Biopic February 21, 2017

for America:

For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”

As James Franco vehicles go, “I Am Michael” may be the James Franco-iest. Directed by Justin Kelly and based on a true story, “I am Michael” follows a gay activist who finds Jesus and proclaims himself no longer gay. The film dedicates equal time to threesome makeout scenes and chapter-and-verse Bible quotations. It plays with the question of identity: What does it mean to be one’s true self? Do postmodern queer activists and conservative Christians share an insight into the nature of homosexuality, or just a naiveté about the persistence of desire and the power of social context? …

Christianity, with its promise of a new life and an overwhelming love, attracts tumultuous people who feel driven by longings their loved ones can’t understand. What do our churches do with these burning souls? How do you shepherd a sheep on fire?


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