My Own Private Idaho
Director: Gus Van Sant Run Time: 104 min. Release Year: 1991
Starring: James Russo, Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix, Rodney Harvey, William Richert
In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.
“From the rearview mirror of 2021, it can be difficult to impress My Own Private Idaho‘s significance with respect to the representation of gay men on-screen. Twenty years ago, the film marked a landmark moment in Hollywood’s reckoning, not only with same-sex intimacy but same-sex love.” ~ Meg Shields, Film School Rejects