Photo Credit: Warner Brothers
If you saw Guy Ritchie's new film version of Sherlock Holmes, you may have noticed that Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) seem very... friendly. The two room together, borrow each other's clothes, give each other's girlfriends a hard time. Could it be that this detective duo are a little bit in love?
Andrea Plunket, executor of author Arthur Conan Doyle's literary estate (including the Sherlock Holmes stories), says there's no way. In reaction to Downey Jr. joking on Late Night with David Letterman that Holmes is "a very butch homosexual," Plunket has threatened to put the kibosh on Sherlock Holmes 2. "It would be drastic," she told a London paper, "but I would withdraw permission for more films to be made... I am not hostile to homosexuals, but I am to anyone who is not true to the spirit of the books."
Yikes. Is Downey's "theory" about Holmes really that big a deal?
In the film, most evidence points to heterosexuality: both Law and Downey have female love interests (Rachel McAdams and Kelly Reilly) who play key roles, and there's practically no physical contact between the two men beyond thrown punches. Good-natured banter (interpreted by some as "flirting") seen in the trailer has been left on the cutting room floor.
The rest is all subtext, and we dare Plunket to find a male friendship in literature or on screen that hasn't been speculated upon. Many have even pointed out gay undertones between Star Trek heroes Kirk and Spock. We'd like to think modern film audiences are mature enough to accept characters' relationships at face value. And if two grown movie characters want to live together and share dinner jackets, we say that's their own business.
Do you think Robert Downey Jr. was just joking about Sherlock Holmes' sexuality? Chime in below!