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Date Posted: 04:15:21 11/20/08 Thu
Author: Icaredore
Subject: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I love this movie but some aspects of the story have puzzled me. One often mentioned is how could people not know about Tori and Paulie’s relationship? Besides, how unusual is a gay relationship at a boarding school (female or male)? Although they weren’t publicly ‘out,’ Tori and Paulie were not entirely discrete either, as many of the early scenes make clear:
“We get away with anything here, and I mean anything!!; “You’re my morning glory, Tori”; kissing on the roof; math class; gazebo; kissing in front of Mouse before knowing how she’d respond.
On top of that, I always assumed that Vaughn knew and Bannet probably did too. So, the script would require us accepting the improbable fact that the other girls are incredibly dumb and don’t catch on. After rethinking the story, I now think the script is as intelligent about this as it is about the rest of the story. The other senior girls do know.
The scene in the dinning hall is the movie’s way of conveying this. The subtext to Cordelia’s words to Tori is, “Tori, we know you’re gay. Fess up, it isn’t a problem.” The response of the other girl at the table (I think the character’s name is Kara) is important too. I thought she was just there as a body to make the scene look more realistic, particularly because she isn’t given any dialogue. She does, though, communicate the truth with her look. When Tori denies being gay, Cordelia replies (a bit insincerely), “No, I know…” Kara then looks at Cordelia and then at Tori. Although her facial expression doesn’t change her eyes say, “Uh, we all know we’re lying about this, right?” Although Tori doesn’t want to be ‘officially out,’ facing an issue that might be embarrassing for her turns into a big problem when Allison finds out and could tell her parents.

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