Middle America May Not Hate Gay Cowboys After All

There was never really any question about whether Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, fast becoming known as “the gay cowboy movie,” would be a good film. From the beginning, the critics were nearly unanimous in their approval. But the larger question was obvious: is the wider America of 2005, a country deeply divided along social and political lines and embroiled in a bitter debate over issues of homosexuality, ready to embrace a love story with two men in the lead roles? The early answer, it appears, is yes. In its first weekend in wide release (beyond the notoriously liberal boundaries of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco,) cracked the top ten in national box office receipts, and scored with moviegoers in locales as diverse as St. Louis, Miami, and Plano, Texas.