Galaxy Quest (1999) – Ace Mini-Review + How Ace Is Alan Rickman?

Galaxy Quest
Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman
Written by: David Howard, Robert Gordon
Directed by: Dean Parisot
U.S.A., 1999

How good is this movie?

A dumb, silly homage to a dumb, silly show. It isn’t very good, but then, it doesn’t pretend to be. The jokes aren’t that funny, the story doesn’t make much sense, and it falls into some familiar clichés. But Star Trek aficionados should appreciate it as an affectionate and fairly accurate parody of the franchise.

How ace is this movie?

The movie has two romantic subplots, one of which is decidedly sexual. However, they are both fleshed out in only the briefest terms, and are not crucial to the story.

How ace is Alan Rickman?

Character: Alexander Dane (aging actor who played Richard III to five curtain calls)

While three of his co-stars have love interests, Alexander is conspicuously single. We do not hear anything of him having a spouse or family; he shares a supportive but purely platonic friendship with Gwen; and the only significant relationship we see him form is his (apparently) non-sexual bond with the young Thermian, Quellek. Instead, Alexander’s main passion is his acting. His biggest disappointment in life is not romantic failure, but the decline of his career, and he finds fulfillment, not through a romantic relationship, but by using his talents to help others.

What if he is?

Alexander’s sexuality is actually crucial to how you interpret him. If straight, he may well be lonely and bitter, envious of Jason’s many sexual successes and romance with Gwen. If gay, he may have spent a lifetime of shame and fear living in the closet, forced to sublimate his sexual desires into other avenues. These interpretations suggest that his expressions of professional discontent are a front for his romantic frustration; his relationship with his cast-mates a poor substitute for the family he never had; and his friendships fraught with unspeakable desire and jealousy. On the other hand, reading Alexander as asexual allows us to take his character at face value. Rather than “sublimating” his romantic or sexual energy into anything, he’s sincerely passionate about his work, invested in his co-stars, and capable of deep emotional attachments of a purely platonic variety. By this reading, Alexander, faults, grievances, and all, provides a very good example of what an asexual aromantic person’s life might look like. He has passion (just not sexual passion), he has attachments (just not romantic or familial ones), and he has a capacity for affection that is not less because it happens to be platonic.

3 Stars; 3 Aces

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