“Times have changed,” we’re told in the trailer for Nicolás López‘s upcoming comedy Hazlo como hombre, “but some people have not.” Case in point: Raúl (Mauricio Ochmann) has wildly outdated concepts about gay people. When his best bud comes out to him (in the showers, no less!) he doesn’t play the part of the supportive friend. Instead, he makes vomit-inducing noises whenever Santiago (Alfonso Dosal) talks about meeting a new guy, freaks out when a man tries to spot him in the gym, and becomes convinced he can just will the gay away with the help of some equine therapy he found online.
Yes, it is 2017 and we have ourselves the kind of premise that would’ve made many of us cringe back in the 1990s. From the trailer alone, it’s clear at least that López is interested in examining what it really means to be a 21st century man. The Spanish title translates to something like “Do it like a man!” And there’s no way that isn’t ironic. We get few hints of this in the two-minute clip but the comedy will surely hinge on Raúl realizing his friend isn’t any different now after coming out. The social media posts for the film, in fact, are not-so-subtly pushing an LGBTQ-friendly campaign that exposes just how retrograde Raúl’s viewpoints are when it comes to homosexuality.
We’re encouraged to take the film’s gay panic premise as a chance to reveal just how machista and homophobic men like him can be. Except, most of the jokes (in the trailer at least) aren’t as much at Raúl’s expense as they are in service of his viewpoints. There’s not one but two shower scenes that play with the whole “if I bend down to grab the soap then someone will rape me” – how hilarious is that?
Moreover, the film’s writer-director team (Guillermo Amoedo shares a co-writing credit) as well as its gay leading man (Dosal) are all straight men. Makes you wonder how much of the well-meaning message Hazlo como hombre is trying to put forth will be undercut by its commitment to the tone-deaf and outdated stereotypes they’re trying to fight back against.
We’ll have to wait until we see the full film, but if you’re still curious about the latest from the Chilean director of Que pena tu vida and Sin Filtro, check out the trailer below.
Hazlo como hombre opens in US theaters on September 1, 2017.