Hazlo Como Hombre (Do It Like An Hombre)

All issues are about you … even when they aren’t

I can’t tell if this film is the most enlightened or the most immature film I’ve seen this year. On the one hand – a Mexican comedy that explores homosexuality from an acceptance point-of-view, yay! On the other, three distinct and separate scenes of soap being dropped in a crowded public shower. It’s like an agoraphobe making it beyond the front gate – that is wonderful progress, super! Look, we’re all at the park across town; tell us when you’re close.

We are going to play a game now. Sound like fun? The film opened on a family barbecue introducing three men indoors playing video games and two women outside cooking. Yeah, not exactly the pinnacle of enlightened behavior there. No matter. Here’s the game: I’m going to describe the five characters and then the first major plot point and you’re going to tell me who is the focal point of this film. Ready?

A. Raúl (Mauricio Ochmann). Car dealer cheating on his pregnant wife.
B. Luciana (Ignacia Allamand). Wife of Raúl. About seven months pregnant.
C. Santiago (Alfonso Dosal). Engaged. Getting cold feet. Very cold feet
D. Nati (Aislinn Derbez). Sister of Raúl. Fiancée of Santiago.
E. Eduardo (Humberto Busto). Hairdresser. Sexuality questioned by entire group.

Ok, so shortly after the opening and a group shower involving Raúl, Santiago, and Eduardo following their weekly soccer match, Santiago announces -in the shower no less- that he’s gay. Who comes out to straight friends in a public shower? Who wrote this?

Now you have the players and the plot point … who is the film about, huh? Is it the man who just came out? Is it his pissed off fiancée? Is it her pregnant friend dealing with all the idiocy?

The answer … A. Raúl. Raúl, you see, has a great deal of trouble coming to terms with Santiago’s homosexuality. Awwww, pobrecito Raúl. Lo siento mucho. We follow Raúl around as he comes to terms with his bigotry – his shower moments are tenser (dude, if this is even an issue, why are you constantly getting naked in front of your friend?), he struggles in therapy, he bullies Santiago’s boyfriend. This material is hilarious if you’re the kind of person who finds it funny when the therapist assumes that “your friend” is you.

I get why we follow Raúl. He represents a wider swath, the unwitting bigot who doesn’t like pondering issues that (they think) don’t concern them. This person is common in our society. They voted for Trump and rail against PC because, darn it, it’s just no fun having to hear about issues you don’t think apply to you … and it’s even less fun being chided for your ill-considered opinions on the subject. Gee. Fucking boo hoo. Soooooo sorry. Imagine what it’s like to be gay. You can go entire weeks without issues being about you. Well, this one is.

Hazlo Como Hombre (“Do it like an hombre”) has a good heart, but a lousy focus. When somebody comes out to you, this isn’t about you. The film doesn’t comprehend said subtlety. The film doesn’t even understand that’s not a subtlety, but a serious flaw. I wholly applaud the subject matter; gay men on film are still often described in one-dimensional terms, so seeing Santiago buying into his own homosexuality without accepting the stereotypical accompanying accoutrement is a positive tack. Playing it all out from the POV of his disturbingly small-minded friend is not. Hazlo is not a great film or even a good film, but films like Hazlo represent progress, however incremental; unfortunately, that won’t make many friends on either side of the aisle.

♪The envy is always greener
When your life is just a fake
You dream about coming out there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at your friends around you
Beyond the shower door
Such wonderful soap to wash up
Just don’t drop it on the floor

Undeclared me
Undeclared me
Honey it’s better
Behind the sweater
Take it from me
Out of the house, questions all day
Your friends don’t understand you’re gay
No need to pause it
Stay in the closet
Undeclared, free♫

Rated R, 109 Minutes
Director: Nicolás López
Writer: Guillermo Amoedo, Nicolás López
Genre: Big issues, baby steps
Type of being most likely to enjoy this film: Open minded, yet immature audiences
Type of being least likely to enjoy this film: Anti-gay zealots

♪ Parody Inspired by “Under the Sea”

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