You know what the world needs? A Wicker Man~Hot Fuzz xover.
Shaun of the Dead (2005) | Hot Fuzz (2007) | The World’s End (2013) dir. Edgar Wright
Here’s the thing, Hot Fuzz is an action/comedy/thriller spoof that also happens to have a love story between two men. As in actual romantic love.
How do I know? Because of Victoria.
Most people who are fans of Hot Fuzz know that Nicolas was supposed to have a female love interest named Victoria. However, when Wright started working on how to film the script he realised the movie would be way too long, so he and Pegg decided to cut out Victoria. She took up way too much time despite not being important to the main mystery plot, but the romantic subplot of Nicolas having to learn to truly love another human being had become too integral to his character development. They fixed this problem by giving the majority of Victoria’s scenes and dialogue to Danny.
In other words, they made Danny the love interest.
All those scenes with Nicolas and Danny that seem romantic ARE romantic. They were written to be explicitly romantic, but because the words are coming out of Danny, a man, instead of Victoria people think it’s supposed to be a joke. Try imagining Danny being played by a woman in those scenes. Are they still funny or just straight up romantic scenes? (Well, except for the obvious jokey jokes)
Wright and Pegg weren’t messing around with this. They spend a fortune on Nicolas and Danny’s romantic theme music because they hired an actual orchestra to give it the right weight and feel (all other music in the movie was made much cheaper on computers). It plays in the background during the scene where they talk about why they became cops, when they sit on the couch and Nicolas talk about his past failings as a boyfriend, and when they make up after fighting.
The whole peace lily plot was lifted directly from Victoria. Nicolas buys her the flower, but doesn’t realise that it’s a romantic gesture until the owner of the shop asks him if it’s “for someone special”. He thinks for a moment before saying “Yes it is”. That was the moment Nicolas realised he was in love. Nothing was changed in the final film except he’s talking about Danny. When Nicolas tells the other police officers that he bought flowers for Danny, the room goes silent for half a second. Doris is seen with a knowing smile.
Nicolas and Danny’s relationships is framed as romantic before they even meet. When Nicolas’ ex girlfriend, Janine, tells him to find someone he can “care more about than work” she clearly means a romantic partner. They are talking about their own failed relationship and she encourages him to find someone he can love more than he loved her. Nicolas later confess to Danny that he kept forgetting Janine’s birthday, and is deeply upset when he finds out he almost missed Danny’s birthday later. A clear connection is made between Nicolas’ past romantic relationships and Danny.
The monkey plushy plot was added to make the romance more true to Danny. Not only is it in line with Danny’s character that he would love a gift that Nicolas won for him by using his superior shooting skills, it’s also a classic romantic gesture. The focus is so heavily on Nicolas picking up a weapon for the first time in years we don’t realise it’s a classic case of “guy winning a plushy for his crush” until later when Danny gives the monkey back and Nicolas gets sad, saying he won it for Danny.
It can feel like they are just spoofing the bromances of past action movies, and no doubt it was part of the motivation for giving the romantic subplot to Danny. But they’re not just going “Look, we can do that too!” They took these odd homoerotic “no homo” relationships and mocked them by making it an actually deep felt, important and serious love between two men. They don’t accidentally touch and have homophobic panic attacks. They snuggle up on the sofa.
Interestingly the big reference to Point Break in Hot Fuzz doesn’t compare Johnny and Bodhi’s infamous platonic love to Nicolas and Danny’s relationship. Instead it compares them to Danny and his dad, keeping it intense but platonic.
After all this you might be thinking “If their relationship is supposed to be romantic, why don’t they kiss?” People don’t kiss in the Cornetto Trilogy. Don’t ask me why, but romantic relationships aren’t sealed with onscreen kisses in this series. Not even Shaun and Liz kissed in Shaun of The Dead despite having dated for three years.
“Both Nicolas and Danny are shown to be straight. Nicolas was about to marry Janine and Danny says he had a crush on a woman in town” All I can say is that if you think this, you don’t know Simon Pegg’s movies. You could say bisexual/biromantic men are a very common occurrence in his works, but in reality his views on sex and romance seem more muddled than that. If you sit down and watch all the movies and shows he had a hand in writing it becomes clear that he considers those things very fluid and blurry. Mike from Spaced slept with Marsha and would have ended up with Dexter if the series had gotten another season. He’s also clearly in love with Tim who doesn’t feel any sexual attraction to Mike, but he loves Mike and they’re seen holding hands (Tim is an insecure fuckboy though. Despite his relationship with Mike he reacts with low-key homophobia to other men having similar relationships, and despite Tim liking to wear women’s clothes when he’s alone he dismissively calls Vulva a tranny). Like I said, sexuality and romance are blurred in Simon Pegg’s works and can either be interconnected or separate and people don’t always fit neatly into straight, gay or even bisexual boxes.
So what I’m saying is that Nicolas and Danny are without a doubt romantically in love, but I won’t make any judgement on wether they’re sexually attracted to each other. The movie doesn’t suggest anything either way, but then again neither did Shaun of The Dead. For all we know Shaun and Liz were asexual.
Wright and Pegg were asked what they thought of all the Hot Fuzz slash fiction and responded that technically they had written their own Hot Fuzz slash fiction: the manuscript for the movie. I’ll leave it at that.
one gag that never fails to make me lose my shit is when a character is shown next to a framed photograph of themselves, in the exact same pose as in the photo
it’s a mouthful to explain but god damn. that is comedy gold right there.
I’m rewatching Hot Fuzz in which we get to hear Timothy Dalton declare, “I’m a slasher!”