Author Topic: TOTW 09/07: Did it seem like Jack was responsive to Randall's flirtatiousness?  (Read 10050 times)

Offline Penthesilea

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Happy Monday everyone :)

A little bit later than usual, but for most of you it's still before noon - and here we go with a brand-new TOTW.

This week, the suggestion for the TOTW came from our very own Amanda/atz75. Yay Amanda, thank you for your suggestion :D!

And here's the question at full length:

Did it seem like Jack was being responsive to Randall's flirtatiousness at the Charity Dance?

Was Jack openly flirting with Randall with their wives sitting right besides them? Did Jack make eye-contact with Randall instead of LaShawn when asking 'Wanna dance?' How about Jack and Randall sitting on the bench?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 12:44:25 pm by Penthesilea »

Offline LauraGigs

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(Oh this is a good one. I had seen BBM just once before the long wait for video, during which I took in all the discussion on IMDB.)

On just the one viewing, I was positive that Jack was in no way interested in Randall.  He did seem to pick up Randall's vibe at the dinner table. But when Randall asked on the bench, Jack seemed as if he'd just been offered Brand X beans and his expression was a mix of shock at Randall's ability to be so brazen, and a faraway 'missing Ennis' look.

I stuck by this impression a long time. (iirc, Littlewing and I were the main holdouts swearing there was nothing, ever, between Jack and Randall!)


I was eventually swayed by other folks' observations and by subsequent BBM viewings. Obviously, Jack has no chance to (verbally) respond to Randall in the scene we see. But latter parts of the film (OMT's mention of the 'ranch neighbor' etc.) indicate Jack accepted the "fishing trips" offer, although it was a pale second-best to what he wanted with Ennis.

The "wanna dance?" in the dining room?  The excellent way it was shot deliberately makes it vague and intriguing.  But after repeated Zapruder-like reviews of the scene, I do believe Jack is looking at LaShawn.
The trick that makes it look otherwise: when the camera cuts to her and Randall, Randall is looking straight at Jack but LaShawn's eyes shift from Lureen to Jack making Randall look like the 'recipient' of the question for that split second.  But in the previous cut, Jack is looking at LaShawn.  (imo)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 12:13:22 pm by LauraGigs »

Offline Kd5000

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Well Jack is just so laidback for starters.  It's hard to tell.   He didn't seem responsive to Randall's flirtations at the dance hall, though given the circumstances, I wouldn't expect him to be.

I don't know. Randall's flirtations might have gone over Jack's head.  Maybe they (Jack/Randall) talked in the truck (if Lashawn let them) after they picked up Randall and his wife when their vehicle had broken down.

When they are sitting in the bench outside,  Jack looked more surprised then interested if you ask me.   He certainly didn't jump up and say, yeah sure, let's go to that crappy house.  Of course, bigmouth Lashawn interrupts the conversation.

Jack was quite guarded given the circumstances.  No doubt, Childress is a small town. Jack even knows Randall's boss. So he probably figured he would bump into Randall again and pick up where they left off.

All in all, it  hard to say. Gay married males flirting with each other while their wives are right there.  And no doubt Lureen was already wondering if Jack had any "secrets."

Offline SFEnnisSF

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Yes, it was a trick with the camera that threw you for a loop when Jack asks Lashawn to dance.  He directly looks at LaShawn when he asks her to dance.  But the trick with the cameras throws you off a little.  Now, was this intentional by Ang or not?  Muwahahaha!

Now we know from reading scripts and such that they originally intended to show Jack getting dropped off at his truck by Randall in front of the mechanics.  So the intention was for them to get together.  Jack even says at the final lake camp he's got a thing goin' with the forman's wife (a lie, it's actually with the foreman, but he could never tell Ennis that.)  

However, the way the final cut of the movie is edited, the scene (as is most of the whole movie) is presented to us as ambiguous.  We are never shown Jack fully accepting Randall's offer, but we do see him contemplating it.   

The key for me that he did get together with Randall is when he tells Ennis about the "foreman's wife".  As far as flirting at the table, I think Jack knew exactly what Randall's body language meant.  But as Kd5000 said, he didn't exactly jump on it right then and there.  (He didn't even answer Randall about it outside, but they were interrupted by the girls before he really had a chance to anyway.)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 12:48:41 pm by sfericsf »

Offline Fran

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Yes, it was a trick with the camera that threw you for a loop when Jack asks Lashawn to dance.  He directly looks at LaShawn when he asks her to dance.  But the trick with the cameras throws you off a little.  Now, was this intentional by Ang or not?  Muwahahaha!

Now we know from reading scripts and such that they originally intended to show Jack getting dropped off at his truck by Randall in front of the mechanics.  So the intention was for them to get together.  Jack even says at the final lake camp he's got a thing goin' with the forman's wife (a lie, it's actually with the foreman, but he could never tell Ennis that.)  

However, the way the final cut of the movie is edited, the scene (as is most of the whole movie) is presented to us as ambiguous.  We are never shown Jack fully accepting Randall's offer, but we do see him contemplating it.   

The key for me that he did get together with Randall is when he tells Ennis about the "foreman's wife".  As far as flirting at the table, I think Jack knew exactly what Randall's body language meant.  But as Kd5000 said, he didn't exactly jump on it right then and there.  (He didn't even answer Randall about it outside, but they were interrupted by the girls before he really had a chance to anyway.)

And don't forget that OMT mentions "another fella" that Jack was going to bring up to the ranch, the so-called neighbor of his from down in Texas.  I assumed he was talking about Randall here, so I guess Jack and Randall did connect at some point.

Offline loneleeb3

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I don't think we see him being responsive. I think he did respond (I.E. the lake scene lie) but we don't ever see it.
Like Eric said, it's ambiguous. When Randall threw out his Idea on the bench, Jack was trying to balance his lonliness with his feelings for Ennis. Apparently, as so often happens, the lonliness won out and I believe Jack had a relationship with Randall. But, in response to the question, he was not responsive at the dance.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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You're right Lee that he didn't respond at the dance. But he didn't reject him either. And isn't that just as good as saying, hey, let's go for it?!?!?  :P

Remember, Jack flirted with the rodeo clown at the bar. Flirting was second nature for him. Meeting Ennis changed his behaviour for a while, but not for life.

Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline Ellemeno

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I've always thought that Jack was not flirting with Randall at the table, though I do think Randall thought for a split second that Jack was asking him to dance.

I've never heard anyone agree with me on this, but I think that when Randall flirts with Jack outside on the bench, Jack looks frozen with the shock of "OMG, am I that obvious that this new guy can tell I'm queer?" 

I do think (based on the "ranch fella" remarks of Mr. Twist, and Jack's own story about running around with the ranch foreman's wife) that Jack and Randall develop a sexual relationship, but how deep that relationship was, I don't know.  I still think he would have dropped him for Ennis in a flash, if Ennis had given him any hope, or just continued with Ennis as they were, seeing him as much as possible, and just not mentioning Randall.

Offline Brown Eyes

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Thanks Chrissi... glad you like the suggestion.  ;D


In my first many, many viewings of this scene I was always convinced that Jack was looking directly at Randall when he asks "want to dance?".  It never crossed my mind that he didn't (sort of like I was always totally convinced that Ennis said "I'm sorry" in TS2).  In those initial viewings, it just seemed clear to me.  But, the more I watch BBM and read discussions here, the more ambigous the whole Randall scene seems.

I do sort of think Jack was flirting at the dinner table.  But, I think he was more wary of the situation on the bench.  I feel like the look on his face on the bench shows he's less-than immediately enthusiastic about Randall's advances.





By the way... I LOVE the banner picture for the TOTW!  :laugh:



the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline LauraGigs

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Randall is shamelessly devouring Jack with his eyes.  Lureen's socialite veneer is so close to cracking from boredom and dissatisfaction that she's practically openly questioning Jack's ardor.  And LaShawn restlessly claws for conversation and attention amid it all.

The multiple levels of tension at the dining table are palpable, and I think Jack says "wanna dance" as a form of tension-breaking and escape.


(Dancing with chatty LaShawn may not have been paradise, but it was certainly preferable to the cauldron of drama brewing in the preceding hour.)