Ben and Arthur

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A tale of Arthur's quest to get married to his hunky boyfriend Ben, in the face of opposition from Arthur's psychotically homophobic brother Victor, Victor's psychotically homophobic church buddies, Ben's psychotically homophobic ex-wife, and a legal system which is just as psychotically homophobic as... yeah, this film is kinda Anvilicious like that (sadly, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, as hilariously incompetent the delivery is).

A labor of love for writer-director-star Sam Mraovich, which quickly became a magnet for Snark Bait in the wake of its release, and has been likened to "a gay version of The Room" -- though in actual fact it was released a year before Tommy Wiseau's epic -- thanks to its minimal production values, entertainingly dreadful acting, and one of the most unsubtle deliveries of its message outside of a 1950s propaganda film.

Tropes used in Ben and Arthur include:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Victor. Word of God is that Victor actually is gay, though in complete denial about it, but the film doesn't do a very good job of making it clear.
  • Author Filibuster: The whole film really, but Arthur's speech about how he wouldn't want to fight for his country if he can't get married in it stands out in particular.
  • Bury Your Gays: Both of the titular characters.
  • California Doubling: A Los Angeles park, for a park in Vermont. It doesn't work too well, since Vermont isn't known for its palm trees.
  • Camp Straight: Victor.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gun which Ben's ex-wife threatens him with ends up being found by Arthur in the film's climax, and used to kill Victor.
  • Church of Happyology: Victor's church comes across this way, even though it's probably supposed to be of a standard Christian denomination. The congregants believe that Victor's brother being gay will somehow turn their children into homosexuals, and the priest encourages Victor to kill Arthur in order to get into heaven. Even Arthur seems to regard this particular church as being monumentally screwed up.
  • Cure Your Gays: Attempted, but utterly failed by Victor on several different occasions.
  • Dawson Casting: Inverted and lampshaded; the guy playing the private investigator looks way too young, which Victor calls him out on.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Arthur turns into this at the end of the film, when he threatens to rape Victor at gunpoint, before the two fatally shoot each other.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Ben gets shot dead with about ten minutes to go, then just gets kinda forgotten about for the remainder of the film's running time.
    • The Attorney as well; she only gets mentioned twice after her death, and the whole subplot about launching a lawsuit against the state of California is completely forgotten about.
  • Experimented in College: Inverted; Ben experimented with the idea of being heterosexual in college, and ended up getting married as a result.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the film's climax, Victor shoots Arthur seven times, but Arthur hangs on long enough to fire off a single shot at Victor -- which hits him right in the forehead, killing him instantly.
  • Informed Attribute: Mildred is supposed to be Ben and Arthur's neighbor, and (surprise, surprise) psychotically homophobic. This is never made clear on-screen however, meaning she gets pissy with Arthur at the coffee shop for no obvious reason, then later turns up without any explanation at Ben and Arthur's apartment to tell them of the bike theft.
  • Kill'Em All: Ben, Arthur, Victor, the priest at Victor's church, and the attorney.
  • Name and Name
  • Only Sane Man: Ben is probably the nearest to this. Arthur is the one who's actually meant to occupy the role, but he doesn't do it very well.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Tammy. Granted, one could see how she was being pissed off as being used as The Beard for several years, but she comes across as totally batshit, way too much for it to have been Ben's fault.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: More specifically, about two-thirds public domain music, and one third synthesised loops contributed by Sam Mraovich.
  • Serious Business: Ben gets really upset when Arthur forgets to lock up their bike, resulting in it being stolen.
    • Turned Up to Eleven by Victor, who is so determined to turn Arthur straight that he ends up murdering the attorney, and later Ben.
  • Sinister Minister: The priest of Victor's church.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Both Ben and Arthur. Yes, we have a film where two of the three main characters are Straight Gay, and the third is Camp Straight.