Actors: David Thorpe, George Takei, Tim Gunn
Director: David Thorpe
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Region: Region 1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2015
Run Time: 77 minutes
Documentaries recently have begun to fall into distinct sub-genres, with a majority made up of biographies and those with political and/or social agendas. Though you could argue elements of the latter in Do I Sound Gay?, it is more of an investigation of a specific social phenomenon, never taking a strong stance or carrying a specific purpose. The answer may be too simplistic for a feature-film discussion, which is why the personalization of the topic by filmmaker and journalist David Thorpe helps to pad the narrative.
After a break-up causes him to reevaluate his life and behavior, Thorpe’s anxiety over the effeminate manner in which he speaks led him to investigate the cause of speech patterns known as stereotypically “gay.” Thorpe envies homosexual friends without the feminine cadence of his own voice, and enlists a series of acting coaches and linguists to try and change the way he speaks. During this process, he is also able to explore the reasons why certain people talk the way they do and how that relates to sexual preference.
Although a majority of the film works because of the personal exploration by Thorpe, some of the best moments come from the insight shared in celebrity interviews on the topic. George Takei, Margaret Cho, David Sedaris, Tim Gunn, Dan Savage and more celebrities offer up their take on the subject, as well as their own opinions about their voices. The final takeaway is that many people are insecure about their voices, and it often has nothing to do with sexuality. We speak the way we do based upon exposure, whether influenced by region or gender.
The DVD special features include only the film’s trailer.
Entertainment Value: 5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5.5/10
Historical Significance: 2/10