Why are these American films so attractive to us?
We grew up with a star system. What was attractive to me about Kramer vs. Kramer was Meryl Streep. What was attractive about Ordinary People was seeing Mary Tyler Moore in a serious role. And that's because of my American upbringing. We'll sit through anything just to see a star. And I'll freely admit that I'm in the grip of that and even today I'd go see anything with...for example, Maureen Stapleton in it. I don't care what it is -- if there was a poem written on a piece of toilet paper and she was going to read it, I'd go. I don't think there's even a label for that but it's indicative of the American filmgoer's mind.
-- Vito Russo, interviewed in Gay Community News (1981)