By Ben Allen
Before I delve into the humor surrounding a film starring and directed by a famous lesbian called The Beaver, I need to provide a little background.
The Beaver is a comedy-drama based on an original script by Kyle Killen. It was directed by Jodie Foster and stars Mel Gibson, Anton Yelchin, and Foster. The film is being released and distributed by Summit Entertainment.
Gibson plays Walter Black, the CEO of a toy company whose mental illness ruins his life… until he starts talking through a beaver hand puppet plucked from a rubbish bin. Black voices the puppet in a ventriloquist-fashion in a gruff accent, which lets him communicate better with his wife (Foster) and two sons.
On July 29, 2010 it was reported that the film was “currently in a holding pattern” with a tentative release of December 24, 2010. A new release date was set for March 28, 2011, but the date pushed again and the film didn’t open broadly until May 20.
The delay was a direct result of the public controversy over leaked audio of secretly recorded phone messages Gibson sent to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson was heard making a racial slur and sexist comments on the audiotapes.
In 2007, Foster came out as a lesbian as a tribute to her girlfriend of 14 years, Cydney Bernard. Up until this point, the fiercely-private actress had always resolutely refused to discuss her sexuality.
Now on to the good stuff.
I had forgotten about the film until I received an e-mail tip from a friend urging me to Google “Jodie Foster Beaver.” I did, of course, and was overwhelmed by an abundance of humorous headlines from legitimate news sources and surprised that so many had gone to “print” despite their obvious double-entendres:
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Will Open Wide May 20th”
- “Jodie Foster Defends Her Beaver”
- “Mel Gibson Screws Jodie Foster’s Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson’s Beaver Flick Gets Rated, but Still No Release Date”
- “Jodie Foster Unveils The Beaver to Adoring Crowd in Austin”
- “Three Clips of Jodie Foster’s Beaver” ·
- “Interview: Jodie Foster Discusses her Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Opens Up This March”
- “Jodie Foster on Her Non-Mainstream Approach to The Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Disappoints”
- “At Premiere, Foster Calls The Beaver, ‘the Biggest Struggle of My Professional Career'”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver To Be Released This Spring”
- “Anton Yelchin Talks About Jodie Foster’s Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Bombs in Boston and other cities”
- “Mel Gibson Ruins Jodie Foster’s Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Pushed Back”
- “Mel Gibson Amazing in The Beaver”
- “Jodie Foster’s Beaver Well Received in Austin”
I couldn’t possibly keep this to myself, so I enlisted the help of my friends and colleagues at Savage Henry and NadaMucho.com to brainstorm a few ideas of our own.
These are for you Jodie, and your glorious Beaver.
- “Foster Doesn’t Blame Gibson for Stinky Beaver”
- “Foster Enlists Gibson to Help with Beaver”
- “Gibson Redeems Himself; Nails Beaver”
- “It’s Hard Not to Love Jodie Foster’s Beaver”
- “Thousands Flock to Foster’s Beaver on Opening Night”
- “Review: Hard to Get Beaver Taste Out of Your Mouth”
- “Gibson Shines in Foster’s Beaver”
- “Moviegoers Hate Jodie Foster’s Beaver”
- “Critics Agree: Foster’s Beaver Stinks”
- “Gibson Nets Six Million for Appearance in Foster’s Beaver”
- “Buoyed by Foster’s Beaver, Gibson Poised for Comeback”
- “Gibson’s Performance Makes For a Hairy Beaver”
- “Gibson? Is he a Good Fit for The Beaver?”
- “Foster to Gibson: I Need You in The Beaver”
- “Gibson Confused by Foster’s Beaver, Initially”
- “Won’t Anyone Come see Jodie Foster’s Beaver With Me?
Surprisingly enough, a number of contributions for the fake headlines had already been used by real news sources. I also find it interesting that the real headlines are just as amusing as the fake ones. The fact that they weren’t intended to be entertaining make them that much more hilarious.
(Chris Durant and Joel Leavitt also contributed to this article.)