Friday, July 12, 2013
Last night QFEST (LGBT Film Festival in Philadelphia) opened with G.B.F. an acronym for Gay Best Friend. This movie could quite possibly be the Clueless for this generation and Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars) today's Alicia Silverstone. G.B.F. (which premiered at TriBeCa 2013) is set in a high school where no kid has yet to come out. However, there is a gender equality organization looking for someone to defend. There's also 3 major school cliques - one run by a perfect blonde "mean girl" bombshell, Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse); a fierce, black, drama queen, Caprice (Xosha Roquemore); and a "purity" Mormon, Shley (Andrea Bowen). All three of these girls know the latest trend is to have a bitchy, fun, fashionista, super gay best friend as part of your circle.
Brent Van Camp (Paul Iacono) is exactly all that, but he's been playing down his flamboyancy in school, waiting for the right moment to come out and claim his place as the coveted GBF. Brent's best friend Tanner (Michael J. Willett) is definitely gay, but doesn't aspire to come out in high school or be fabulous, he intentionally stays under the radar in general. Unfortunately, it's Tanner who's outed instead of Brent through a mix up with a gay app detector on Tanner's phone. He's then claimed by all 3 clique queens, made over and used as a gay accessory.
The fun of this film directed by Darren Stein and written by George Northy, is in the kid's dialogue, put downs and slang, which I'd need to see the movie a second time in order to really demonstrate, although Fawcett referring to AIDS as "the hivs" was one such novel colloquialism.
The other crack up is Megan Mullally in her trademark squeaky voice attempting to bond with her son Brent over a gay themed movie night starting with Broke Back Mountain. On a side note: Mullally plays another annoying Mom in the recently released Kings of Summer. On a second side note: the theaters will soon be filled with teen-age angst movies with the summer releases of The Way Way Back, The To Do List and The Spectacular Now.
At times G.B.F. gets a little convoluted and cliched with prom King and Queen machinations. Not to mention, neither Brent nor Tanner are the type of kids you mistake for geeks rather than gay, the whole school would have known they were gay from 4th grade up. However, these things are minor, the contemporary premise and the Glee-esque moral lessons make for a really fun film and a great choice for QFEST to kick off the Festival.
QFEST.com for a list of screenings and events.
G.B.F. screens again on Saturday 7/13 2:45pm Ritz East
Continuing festival coverage can be found on Tinsel & Tine's facebook page.
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