The 2004 movies Too Cool for Christmas and A Very Cool Christmas went viral this week after social media realized that they are the exact same movie expect for one parent, who was swapped out to create a gay and straight version of the films.
Director Sam Irvin spoke to Buzzfeed News about the films: “Back in those days, there was a little bit less open-mindedness to having gay characters. [Filmmakers thought] they would have better chances of selling [the straight version] to those more lucrative markets, but also be able to do an alternate version.”
"Great, we have it! Now let's swap the actors and do it again." pic.twitter.com/kGpX2e3onp— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) November 11, 2019
Irvin said he created the gay version for the LGBTQ network Here TV because it couldn’t afford to finance a full movie so filmmakers swapped a gay actor into the straight version, being produced by Lifetime after networks agreed on the deal. The straight version is now on Hulu and the gay version on Amazon Prime.
Wrote one Twitter user: “Other than the gender of the actor that plays the other parent, the two versions of the film are virtually identical with identical lines being delivered by both the actors and the actress and the exact same camera shots being used for their scenes in both versions…one for the more tolerant Canadian audience and the other one for the presumably more conservative US audience at the time.”
Irvin said it was his insistence that they be identical: “I’m an openly gay director and they said, ‘Why don’t you tweak the dialogue for the dads to make it more gay or whatever?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely not. The whole point would be that there is no difference at all, and it shouldn’t matter.’ I wouldn’t do it.”
More at Buzzfeed News.