Facts and Figures
Run time: 92 mins
In Theaters: Friday 17th January 2014
Distributed by: Vertical Entertainment
Production compaines: School Pictures, Parting Shots Media, Logolite Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 6.0 / 10
G.B.F. Movie Review
Sharply important themes make this film a lot more important than its wacky style might suggest. It's essentially Mean Girls remade with a gay twist, and the smart script continually acknowledges that fact. There's also plenty of surprisingly deep subtetx, which adds weight even when things start to get a bit silly.
The story centres on Tanner (Willett), a 17-year-old who isn't quite ready to come out of the closet, then is inadvertently outed by his best pal Brent (Iacono). Suddenly, the leaders of the school's three cliques (Pieterse, Bowen and Roquemore) descend on him: the first out gay student, he'll make the perfect accessory as a Gay Best Friend. And wannabe activist Soledad (Levesque) latches on to him so she can launch a gay-straight alliance. But as Tanner strains to fit the stereotype, he finds himself increasingly distant from Brent and their pals (Tarlov and Mio).
Director Stein shoots this in the colourfully wacky style of a Glee episode (without the songs), but even though everything is just a bit over the top, the screenplay grounds the situations and characters with stinging wit and subtle commentary on big issues like peer pressure, bullying, repression, religious intolerance and the reason girls like to hang around gay boys. This lets the likeable actors deepen their characters in ways that continually catch us off guard.
It helps to have strong performers like Willett (United States of Tara), Bowen (Desperate Housewives) and Lynch (Harry Potter) on board. As well as veterans like Mullally, who is both funny and telling as Brent's too-interested mother. And the most intriguing observation in the film is that it's impossible to have a functioning society that's tolerant and supportive if people are in the closet for any reason. This has striking ramifications throughout our culture, if we think about it. So even though the movie superficially feels like a bit of goofy fun, it has real teeth.