This 2004 Christmas movie with two gay dads was remade with heterosexual parents for its US release. Yes, really
We always love to see LGBT+ characters in films. It’s a nice treat to see yourself represented in whatever you’re watching, even if it’s only for a brief, fleeting moment.
But that moment has proven particularly fleeting for fans of A Very Cool Christmas. The 2004 film was released in the United States under that title and was released as Too Cool for Christmas in Canada.
The two films are almost identical – except for one major (and bizarre) change. The American version of the festive film features opposite-sex parents and the Canadian version features same-sex parents.
The gay character was swapped out for a straight one for the Christmas film’s American audience.
In the American release of the film, the lead character Lindsay’s parents are played by Barclay Hope and Ingrid Torrance. The Canadian release features Barclay Hope and Adam Harrington.
Today, the American version is available through Hulu and the Canadian version through Prime, so one Twitter user made a video of the films playing side-by-side.
Fascinating. And since one version is on Hulu and the other on Prime you can open two windows and play both at the same time. I know because I just did… https://t.co/sLcukrqULA pic.twitter.com/bHLFdfdQje
— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) November 11, 2019
The bizarre video shows that the films are virtually identical. The script is the same, the lighting is the same, the shots are the same – the only thing that’s different is the gender of one of the parents.
It’s bulls**t that we can only watch the straight one for free.
Presumably, somebody got scared at some point during the making of this film about the idea of featuring a same-sex couple who were – gasp – parents, too. They must have felt that a Canadian audience would find the presence of a same-sex couple slightly more palatable than Americans.
The response on Twitter has been hilarious.
Understandably, queer Twitter has been going absolutely wild over the bizarre discovery.
One Twitter user pointed out that everything looks a little too similar for comfort – and believes this means it was all shot on the same day.
They had to have shot them on the same day, the lighting and everything else about the scene matches too well next to each other. That means they'd do a take, swap out the actor/actress, and then do the take again for the different version. That's fucking hilarious.
— filmtoaster (@filmtoast) November 11, 2019
Others have pointed out that there should be an alternative gay version of every film about straight people going forward.
Movies I need "two dad" versions of immediately:
1. A Christmas Story
3. Mr. Mom
4. The Shining
5. Every movie ever made
— Seth Grahame-Smith (@sethgs) November 11, 2019
i feel like A Christmas Story with 2 moms would be a real winner
— Laur Connor (@laurieskelly) November 12, 2019
Others were quick to point out the real injustice of the situation.
It’s bullshit that we can only watch the straight one for free.
— Adam Lance Garcia (@AdamLanceGarcia) November 11, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the film did not garner very positive reviews on its release, and nowadays seems to be best remembered as that film that released two versions so as to avoid offending conservative Americans.
Future filmmakers, be warned: if you’re going to bring gay characters into the mix, commit to it. Don’t make the mistake they made in A Very Cool Christmas.