'L.A. Story' gives fresh look at funny side of city
By STEVE WARREN
TNV Film Critic
Ordinarily when reviewing a comedy I quote a few of the best jokes, to
give the reader an idea of the type of
humor represented and, perhaps
subconsciously, to get undue credit
in the reader's mind for the jokes.
Someone else may have written
them but I'm the one who made you
laugh with them.
But I need some fun too, so I just
sat back and enjoyed L.A. Story, instead of copying down the good
lines. I remember there are two
about women's breasts and two
about men's testicles, butyou'll have
to see for yourself what they are.
Except for the southern California
setting, L.A. Story could easily be a
Woody Allen film. It has his kind of
romantic sensibility, surreal visuals,
literary references (heavy on the
Shakespeare) and even a visual
steal from Fellini (the opening shot
of a giant hot dog carried over Los
Angeles by helicopter as the statue of
Christ was over Rome in La Dolce Vita each country has its objects of reverence).
PHOTO BY TRI STAR PICTURES
Los Angeles is a magical backdrop against which Steve Martin plays a TV weatherman
and Victoria Tennant stars as an English journalist. The two find love in the comedy
Steve Martin, who also wrote the
script, plays a "wacky" TV weather-
caster who's been going with Marilu
Henner for years. He realizes she
and the job are wrong for him, but he
doesn't want to deal with it while
things appear to be going well in the
ways that matter where the talk is
shallow and the air is thick.
One magical night a freeway traffic sign starts talking to Steve, and
one magical afternoon he meets Vic
toria Tennant, a British journalist,
at brunch. Maybe she only seems
sweet after the attitude j of gay mai-
tre d' Eddie DeHarp, but he's instantly taken with her. She's semi
taken herself, by ex husband Richard E. Grant, who is making a big
pitch to win her back.
Cut loose from his job and relationship, Martin starts dating
airheaded Sarah Jessica Parker, a
bouncy creature who only stands
still for closeups; but she just wants
to have fun (to cite one of Parker's
earlier films) and his heart isn't in it,
even if other parts of his anatomy
There are moments when the story
bogs down briefly, but there's usually another great gag seconds away
in this buoyantly funny, rarely vicious look at the town that proves
there's life on at least one other planet (it's even got its own atmosphere).
Considering that all the L.A. jokes
have been done, Martin comes up
with an amazing number that seem
fresh. If this is his way of apologizing for My Blue Heaven, I accept his
Texas A&M faculty formalizes protection for homosexuals
COLLEGE STATION. Texas (AP)—A
policy prohibiting discrimination
against homosexuals in hiring, firing
and tenure decisions has been overwhelmingly approved by Texas A&M's
faculty senate. ..t__m____________d
The faculty senate's vote, which must
be ratified by A&M President William
Mobley to become university policy, survived an effort by 68 faculty members
and more than 100 "friends of the univer
sity" who fought the change.
"This codifies what is already good
practice," Larry Hickman, a philosophy
professor and faculty advisor for A&M's
Gay and Lesbian Student Services, told
th<. Houston Chronicle.
Nearly 200 opponents signed a petition
saying such a policy change would give
lesbians and homosexuals special recognition.
rm mmnuses" said Pari GnhharH
committees that discriminating against
someone because of their sexual orientation goes against university policy!' he
on campuses," said Carl Gabbard, a professor of health and physical education
who spoke against the revision. "We are
by no means saying homosexuals should
be discriminated against, but we also
don't think we should be in the forefront
of universities who've made these unnecessary statements."
The American Association of Universi-
Professors has recommended
nee be included in anti-
nation policies. According to the Nai
al Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, more than 200 universities have
now so changed their policies.
anamoreinan iuu inenusoimeuniver- uon goes against university policy, ne oy no nieauBBaymg Homosexuals snouio. now so cnangeu meir puucieb.
Four men arrested under controversial Texas sodomy law
By SHERI COHEN DARBONNE
Four men arreBted Tuesday, Feb. 12, in
two separate Houston area incidents
were charged with homosexual conduct,
marking the first time in several years
that arrests have been made under Section 21.06, the state sodomy statute. All
four cases were filed through Harris
County Justice of the Peace Steve Phelps'
office, Pet. 8, Position 2 (Clear Lake City).
Homosexual conduct, under Section
21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, is a Class
C misdemeanor which carries a $200
fine. Three of the four defendants in the
Feb. 12 cases paid fines and fees totaling
$122.50 each. Two of the defendants, residents of Pasadena and Deer Park, pleaded guilty; the third, a Fnendswood resident, entered a plea of "no contest to the
The fourth defendant, whose case is
pending, resides in Houston.
Gay activist Ray Hill and Houston attorney Phyllis Frye, both contacted Tuesday by the man whose case is pending,
said they had not heard of any 21.06 case
in the Houston area for several years.
Suzy Wagers of the Texas Human Rights
Foundation, the legal organization
whose challenge to the statute resulted in
a lower court ruling in December declaring 21.06 unconstitutional, also said she
has heard of no arrests under the law in
Frye said Wednesday, Feb. 13, that although she did not know details of the arrests, she found it "weird" that the defendants were charged with 21.06 violations
instead of the charges more commonly
applied "indecent exposure" or "public
lewdness," which carry stiffer penalties.
"I really have no idea why a (police officer) would make an arrest under 21.06.
Maybe he was just new and didn tknow
what he was doing;' she commented.
Hill said although he was told the arrests of two of the men occurred in a park,
he believed "the incident was not sufficiently public" to warrant the other
"I would think that (the 21.06 charge)
indicates this was a consensual act... of
sufficient privacy not to warrant (a
charge of) public lewdness," he said.
Frye said one of the defendants contacted her, and that she advised him to
speak to Hill. None of the four men had
hired an attorney, but Hill saidTHRFattorneys Patrick Wiseman and Margaret
Tucker had expressed an interest.
Wagers said Tucker, THRF's legal director, was interested in findingoutmore
about the Houston cases. Also, Houston
THRF attorney Donald Skipwith was
working on obtaining representation for
the pending case this week.
During the trial of "Morales et al vs.
the State of Texas," attorneys for the
state repeatedly contended that the law
could not infringe upon the plaintiffs'
rights because "it is never enforced." Activists said the Houston developments
could be pivotal in an appeal of District
Court Judge Paul Davis' Dec. 10 ruling
"Naturally ... we now have a real live
pending homosexual conduct criminal
case," said Hill.
"(The case) could be a valuable asset in
the appellate process," he added. "We
would have to be careful not to do anything in this (pending) case that would
hurt our chances in an appeal, but we also have to be careful not to not do anything that would "help in an appeal."
Wiseman, the THRF attorney who represented the "Morales" lawsuit plaintiffs, could not be reached for comment.
Diverse nominations received for parade grand marshals
Three males, one female and an organization were among nominations received for
grand marshal of the 1991 Houston Gay/
Lesbian Pride Parade at the monthly Gay/
Lesbian Pride Week meeting Tuesday, Feb.
19. Only one male and one female were
nominated for honorary grand marshal
during the last day to receive nominations.
The election will be held at the next general
meeting on Tuesday, March 19.
The Lone Star Symphonic Band was the
first and only organizational nomination
received in a year when, for the first time,
such nominations were encouraged. While
marshals have traditionally been one male,
one female each year, HGLPW '91 parade
committee co-chairs Bruce Herling and
Jazz Paz noted that the bylaws do not specify those qualifications for the positions.
Also nominated were four individuals:
Linda Morales, activist in the Hispanic and
women's communities and lead plaintiff in
THRF's legal challenge against 21.06; Jack
Jackson, a volunteer with a number of community organizations who has been involved in AIDS fundraising and service for
several years; Thaddeus Coverdale, director of the Lone Star Symphonic Band; and
Eugene Harrington, founder of the AIDS
Nominated for honorary grand marshal
were Harris County Treasurer Katy Cald
well and illusionist/entertainer and
fundraiser Lady Victoria Lust.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, members of
the committee were surprised and saddened by the resignation of HGLPW '91 co-
chair Felix Garcia. Nominations for male
co-chair will be taken at the March meeting. Garcia's letter of resignation was read
at the close of the meeting by female co-
chair Anabel Evora; he cited employment
schedule conflicts and health concerns.
The marketing committee announced
that a photographer will be at Rich's from
1:00-5:00 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 23, to take
pictures for possible inclusion on the "Take
Pride Poster." The poster will show 12 pho
tos of persons representing different aspects of gay pride, said committee chair
The media committee reminded members
that March is "Take Pride Awareness
Month." During the month of March, members of the executive team will pay extra attention to outreach efforts, including appearances at gay businesses and increased
media efforts, according to committee chair
Jack Valinski. Evora will also be a guest on
the KPFT radio shows "Breakthrough"
and " Wilde-N-Stein" in March as part of the
awareness project, Valinski said.