Get Real (1998) Poster

(1998)

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10/10
Let's Get Real!
duce12210 May 2000
I rented the movie "Double Jeopardy" one evening and was skipping through the previews when I saw the trailer for this movie. I had heard about it before from a few friends who had seen it and had read about it in TIME magazine, not knowing much about the movie. Growing up in a household where being "different" in that sense is not acceptable, it has been hard for me to deal with my issues without support from my parents. I went to the local video store a few nights ago and immediately picked out "Get Real" to watch and enjoy. What I didn't expect was how true to life this movie really is!

"Get Real" is the story about a 16-year old gay teenager named Steven Carter (played by the boyishly adorable Ben Silverstone) who has known about himself since he was 11-years old and is perfectly fine with it. Although he is dying to be accepted for who he is and not for who he pretends to be, he is afraid to tell his peers and his parents about his true nature. Only his best friend Linda (Charlotte Brittain, who delivers a terrific performance) knows and is worried about Steven, due to his sexual adventures at a gay men's restroom in a park. But one day, he unexpectedly has an encounter with the "straight" high school jock John Dixon (Brad Gorton, who plays his role of someone with much sexual confusion with complete realism) and the two boys fall in love. Steven wants to be open about the relationship, while John wants to hide his love for Steve. These differences, along with many others than I will not spoil for those who have not seen this, lead to one of the most tear-jerking endings I have ever seen in a movie.

Bravo to everyone involved for creating such a realistic story! Being gay is not easy these days, especially for teenagers, but we all wish we were as brave as Steven, who matures as the movie goes on and we all hope the best for him as he embarks on his emotional recovery after the end of this movie. Way to go Steven!

If you haven't seen this movie, see it soon! It is worth your every buck!

RATING: 10 out of 10!

Rent this m
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10/10
WONDERFUL representation of real life young people.
pyotr-319 March 2000
Could a more realistic demonstration of what it is like to be young exist than this film? Don't think so.

A lot of talk centers around how hard growing up is for teenagers. Yet seldom is it mentioned that however hard it is for straight kids to grow up, it is a million times harder for gay kids, who have no one to turn to for help - not friends, not teachers, not parents, not the church, not books, not counselors, not ANYONE. This film shows what it is like. And it further shows the horrid situation that a young gay athlete finds himself in, torn between being able to do what he enjoys (sports) and being able to be himself. When you're gay, you can't have both, thanks to the homophobia which still rules athletics with an iron fist.

The two main characters of this film struggle to maintain a relationship, because they are in love - yet ultimately the homophobic attitudes of the world force them to part. Tragic, yet it is a tale that plays itself out in every little town on the globe. In spite of this, it is a tale never before told on film. It's about time. This should be required viewing for all high school students.
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10/10
A Tender, Realistic and Superb Gem
Mitch-381 January 2001
Intelligently scripted, well-crafted and exceptionally acted story of a young gay man finding his way through the adolescent wilderness. The situations that arise, when one finds themselves serving too many masters, are portrayed in a moving, heart warming manner. A great balance of relevant humor and teenage emotional tribulation is struck, without so much as a gram of maudlin melodrama, which normally crops up in films of this nature (especially American ones). In the good ol' USA, teenage development in movies tend to be played for laughs or for mawkish sentiment, which could propel whining into an Olympic event.

In a short summation, Steve Carter, the main protagonist, finds the path to love strewn with thorns. His friend and counsel, Linda, walks the same road. Steve in discovering himself, discovers that anguish is also a companion to love.

GET REAL does just that in such an honest, disarming way, that it exudes originality. The performances and characterizations, are far ranging and finely realized. There's not a weak link in the chain, either in performance, script execution or direction. Innovative and fresh from start to finish. A contemporary classic that is highly recommended.
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A small but important movie - see it
graham clarke19 October 2004
The lives of gay people are full of the stuff that makes for drama; inner conflicts, self acceptance, conformity, family tensions and many other issues gay people are forced to confront. Whether it's the late start or lack of a tradition, the genre of the gay movie has very little quality on offer. American cinema has been particularly weak in this area. The AIDS epidemic has been handled with more assurance than the inherent ordeals gay people face. There have been many stereotypical, predictable and basically forgettable gay movies over the years. "The Boys in the Band" made over 30 years ago still stands out as a major gay film; indeed a sorry state of affairs.

European cinema has fared far more successfully with matters gay, with such fine works as "Wild Reeds" and the outstanding "Come Undone". It comes as much of a surprise that the stodgy British cinema should have produced some of the landmark gay movies, amongst them the brave "Victim" (1961) made when homosexuality was still against the law and John Schlesinger's fiercely intelligent "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1970). While "Get Real" is no masterpiece, it certainly is one of the most important gay themed films of the past few years.

Its importance lies in the lesson it so succinctly delivers. It's not a film directed especially at gay audiences and should be seen by all, especially high school audiences for whom it should be compulsory viewing.

The casting of Ben Silverstone was inspired. He manages to be totally convincing throughout, even pulling off the perhaps unlikely speech he delivers in the finale. Brad Gorton as his conflicted love interest has some truly moving moments. Director Simon Shore also elicits fine performances from the secondary characters, in particular Charlotte Brittain in the fag hag, fat friend role. It could have gone very wrong in lesser hands, but Brittain is a joy to watch and brings a lovely sense of humor to the proceedings.

Ultimately it's a truly unpretentious and very moving movie, far more effective than "Beautiful Thing". Don't miss it.
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8/10
Ben Silverstone rules!
shrine-218 April 2000
If "Get Real" chronicles anything, it is that messed-up jumble of a time that gay men have as teenagers, trying to be true to themselves without giving too much offense to those who abhor them. The mixed-up measures they take to express themselves and give expression to their feelings of desire and adolescent lust, suppressed by community morality and repressed by personal fear and self-hatred, unfolds over the London suburb of Basinbroke where a stick figure of a 16-year-old--Steven Carter--sits in or outside a public bathroom, trying to make contact with someone. He finds it unexpectedly with the big man on the high-school campus who garners immeasurable pleasure from their private meetings, but cannot bear the thought of being outed. The story passes through a grist mill of situations that leave the viewer with the simplistic notion that everything will be fine, if you just have the courage to be yourself with others. If it were that easy, I'm sure Brandon Teena would still be alive today.

Adapted from Patrick Wilde's play "What's wrong with being angry," "Get Real" sends a manifesto to parents and teachers about the supposed pressures they may be putting on their children, gay or otherwise. If you're willing to accept it on this level, the movie functions as an emotional release for all those pent-up gay teenagers who couldn't vent their anger and frustrations at the forces that impose on their burgeoning dreams. But if you try to take it any deeper, then you'd have to consider the internal struggles of John Dixon, the object of Steven's desire, because that is one of the few places in this movie where something is at stake. Johnny (as Steven likes to call him) travels a thornier road, and although Brad Gorton doesn't quite seem up to the challenge, his self-conscious jock does not seem so much a coward in the end as someone saddled with all the trappings of his gentrified upbringing who doesn't want to let go of them. Johnny Boy's smart, but like all teenagers, he's thwarted by desires that defy his good sense.

And that is a shame, because if there ever was reason to give up everything for love, Ben Silverstone would be it. He is the real find in this picture. He's the most elegantly constructed scarecrow to touch the silver screen (Seeing him, Conrad Veidt and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" come to mind.), and it's amazing what calm he brings to the center of this movie. Unlike newcomer Gorton, the camera loves Silverstone, and it takes him in as if he were born to be in front of it. If that weren't enough, this young actor (He is about the same age that Steve should be.) has a voice that rivals Jeremy Irons for expressiveness and majesty. Imagine him as Hamlet or Edward II or in a remake of "Brideshead Revisited" and that sultry sound pouring forth in velvety plenitude. Why, it's enough to make you stand up and salute the Queen Mother.

With Stacy Hart as the iridescent Jessica whose dance with Steve is probably the sexiest scene in the entire movie.
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9/10
A fantastic film which was very close to home.
darwindocument27 September 2006
I have just watched this film as part of Film 4's British Connection. I felt this film was an excellent exploration of homosexuality in the heart of Middle Class Britain. I lived close to the film's location Basingstoke when this was made and am the same age (give or take a year) as the main character, Stephen. Whilst never being as confident in my sexuality as Stephen, I really connected with the story told, his relationship with his parents and the scatter-shot but inadvertently appropriate use of homophobic abuse by the bullies.

Also thought the excellent flashes of dialogue uplifted the film such as "Whenever I see that badge (Head Boy) I wish it were an invitation." Priceless. The performances are almost perfect through out (I was a little unconvinced by Jon the Head Boy to begin with but warmed to him hugely as the film and love story progressed.) The cinematography is suitably understated and this is not the most cinematic film ever shot, which I feel helps with the realism. Some of the symbolism is quite fantastic, especially the closing shot, which I wont spoil.

I found it to be a much more recognisable film for me than Brokeback Mountain, Not to that films detriment, it is a masterpiece but I may feel closer to this because I have regularly been to the Odean in Basingstoke, but have never herded sheep on a snowy mountainside with Jake Gyllenhall.

It is a simple effective narrative about a subject close to my heart and I recommend it highly.
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The only movie to see - ever!
Huttson1 June 1999
I've seen this film more than a few times, and each time I find something more to become enthused about - the masterful mirroring of plot elements, the subtle shadings in each character, the fantastic camera work, and so on and so forth. This is one of those movies that you can see again and again and never become tired of - for my money, it ranks up there with It's A Wonderful Life and Belle Epoque, as both an artistic success and a story of the triumph of the human spirit. The leads are magnificent - Ben Silverstone is more than a little swoonsome, and Brad Gorton switches from smooth as silk to blubbering jelly with just a twitch - and to all of you wondering why John would fall for Steven, wouldn't you want a boyfriend who makes you laugh, forces you to take risks, and to generally put yourself at ease? I know I would. Bravo to Ben and Brad and Charlotte, to Simon, Patrick and Stephen for making a movie that will stay with me for all time. Ciao, tutte!
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10/10
A real, true-to-life movie of acknowledging ones homosexuality.
NeuroPsyche21 July 2004
A move that hits the heart in so many places. Two teenagers, one knowing of his homosexuality, and one refusing it. This is a move that I think everyone should watch. It opens up ones' mind into the complications and implications involved with the entire circle around someone who is gay. Mostly it provides an understanding into the pain and confusion one faces when they are gay. This movie will stick with me forever, and no doubt moved up to my top favorite movie of all time because of its similarity with my life and my own homosexuality. The actors, especially Brad Gorton, aren't that bad either :) He's a terrific actor with an incredible capability for realism.
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Surprisingly sensitive film
bob the moo7 December 2003
Steve is a 17 year boy, still in school. He has long since decided he is gay but only meets men in the park for sex. When one of the people he meets in the park toilets turns out to be none other than the hunky head boy, Steve is unsure where he stands. However their relationship grows into lovers and they both balance the feelings brought around by secrecy and feeling like no one understands.

From the sparky opening and good sense of humour, I had expected this film would just be another in the line of Richard Curtis-lite style of British romantic comedies. Indeed it does have this feel to it throughout - it has some good songs on the soundtrack and much of it is funny in that bittersweet way that British rom-coms seem to have claimed as their own. However what made this such a good film is the fact that it is a lot more sensitive and moving than most of this genre ends up being. The plot may well drag a little at times, but it never really seems unrealistic or dull.

The characters are part of the reason it does so well. It is rare in the mainstream to see gay characters portrayed fairly and without caricature - HBO's 6 Feet Under is one of the rare ones, but this does as well. I wish that all those who hold up `Will & Grace' as a milestone in gays in the mainstream could all sit and see how much better it is when done like this! The dialogue is good and none of the characters are fake or pointless. Of course some react the way you expect them to, but the fact that they have been drawn well stops them being lazy - just broad. The film is weak in some pretty important areas however. The main one being the lack of relationship between Steven and John - I never saw them together and all they had in common is their sexuality.

The cast do pretty well with the characters, even if some of them are being held up by the good script. Silverstone is great in the lead - he gives a really low key performance that even extents to his `speech' scene - where he could have really hammed it up some. Gorton is not as good but does do sterling work. The support cast are mixed although all do their jobs ably enough.

Overall this is a great little film that will never get the same success as the Richard Curtis comedies from which it borrows a bit of it's style, however the script is really strong and it is quite unarming in how well it deals with the issues without cliché or lazy caricature of characters.
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Nice Gay Schoolboy Romance!
guil fisher14 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
What a delicious film this is. Directed with taste and delicacy by Simon Shore and written by Patrick Wilde [a relative of Oscar?] with some pretty fantastic performances by the leads. You believe everything they go through. You feel the frustration and the embarrassing situations they run into. The conflicts, the desires, the explorations of each other's sexuality and the honesty of a special relationship. Unfortunately, in this situation, the differences of class, age and strength of character makes the outcome predictable. But, along the way it tells a beautiful love story between two guys in school [one quiet and shy, the other a popular jock on the rugby field], who by chance, happen to encounter each other's secret in a public toilet in the park. Unknowingly, they make plans by sending each other notes on toilet paper under the stalls. Then once out in the sunlight, they recognize the other's identity. Well played scene by both actors. The scene where John, the jock played beautifully by Brad Gorton, talks of his secret pleasures with other male bodies and his torment in keeping it inside of him, was wonderful. And the way Steven, played by the wonderful Ben Silverstone, held him in his arms and comforted him brought tears to my eyes. So delicate a scene. Their first kiss took my breath away. Other notable performances were by the delightful Charlotte Brittain as Steven's next door neighbor best girl buddy. Her scenes with Steven Elder as her driving instructor were hysterical. Also her fainting scene at the wedding to get Steven out of the party and to his boyfriend was funny. I also liked Jacquetta May and David Lumsden as Steven's parents. They were played with sensitivity and depth. Even though Dad had to go further in understanding his son, Mom was there. The scene where she challenges the school bully, picking on her son, brought cheers from this viewer. But, alas, we aren't granted a happy ending in this movie. The one downer in the picture. Thought the ending was weak and sort of wasted after building to such a climax. Steven's confession to his classmates, deserved better than a brush-off by John and a car ride with Linda. Boo! Up till then, a classic film with excellent acting by all. 9 out of 10 points from this viewer.
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Good movie with a flaw or two.
shooter-1930 June 1999
I went to see the film with a friend and we both enjoyed it very much, especially Charlotte Britain but when we discussed the film later neither of us could figure out one thing: When the guys are frolicking in the pool together and are caught by Kevin, the athlete acts as if he's not the least bit concerned that he's been "found out". He laughs about it and it seems that he's come to terms with his relationship with Steven being known. Back at school, however, he goes back to acting like he doesn't even know Steven and they musn't be seen even talking. But Kevin has already seen them together in the pool! We thought that was kind of lame. Here's this guy that they all call "puff" and "queer" and yet when the best friend of the athlete catches them in the pool it's as if nothing happened. In spite of this flaw, we enjoyed the movie. Any comments?
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10/10
Searingly applicable
sirchadwick4619 June 2006
I cannot say enough about the power of this movie. With my own struggle with my sexuality, as well as the hiding that so many like me are forced into, this movie brought me to tears. There are so many things I wish could be different, both in my life and in how the movie played out, but both are surprisingly pleasant even as they are. I cannot say that this is the greatest piece of cinema ever created, from dialog to production values, many parts of the movie are askew (not to mention the often indecipherable British mumbling!), but it has given me hope that as a gay teenager I will someday find the type of love I am looking for.
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10/10
Thin Line Between Love and Hate
ellisisle15 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw "Get Real" in mid-May 2006. Looking back at this film and when it was released (1999 in the USA) it is startling that the sexual repression that is so prevalent in the film, can still exist in this day and age. The film "Maurice" (1987) took place in 1910 and the repression was worse and yet that film had a much more positive ending.

In 'Get Real' the two characters, Steven Carter and John Dixon couldn't be more different in their sexual experiences. It's Steven Carter the younger boy who has had more sexual contact with men and its John Dixon who is unable to deal with his sexual feelings.

I find that the character, John Dixon, is the most fascinating of the two boys because he is living a double life. He presents an image of strong, athletic and smart, but he is also filled with anxiety, confusion and doubts.

Like the most of us. John Dixon's greatest fear is that people will find out about his true sexual identity. In the end John Dixon is in severe denial, he is blind to the reality of his sexuality and but it cannot be denied. Is this love these two boys are experiencing? This is a newly discovered sexual companionship, and a very deep emotional connection that neither one has ever experienced before.

It is all new and exciting. This intensity clouds what is really happening to them.The only way they can express honesty to each other is for the boys to reach for some booze, that is the only way some very painful truths will surface. There are two very powerful and revealing scenes that are key to the whole film and that are emotionally raw and memorable.

Yet they make promises they never can keep. John Dixon was so afraid of any one finding out he was gay, that he piled on needless lies, to his parents and friends and then he began to resent Steven and despise himself.

These two boy's were very dependent on one another and the result was they became very needy, which then had the effect of suffocating one another. They needed to come up for some air.

Sadly, John Dixon doesn't realize that a lot of Steven's friends and family know about him. John's friend's suspect the truth and so does his father. He could of said something to them, but that is easier said than done.

John Dixon is so consumed by fear he can't see 'straight'. John strikes back at Steven Carter in a most vicious way. John Dixon tells Steven Carter that he loves him but his actions reveal the real truth.

It's not how you 'feel' towards someone that shows you love them. It is how you treat them, and that is with respect and decency. Is this love or hate?
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10/10
Absolutely Timeless
pgenco1 January 2006
Get Real is an excellent work and I highly recommend it! The content/subject matter is absolutely timeless. Main characters display an extremely realistic perspective of teen reactions to the situations that face them. Of course, the British "humour" only adds to the overall flavor of this particular flick. Linda and her comments and driving lessons give the work a uplifting life goes on kind of feel. All of the characters were very well developed and actors carefully selected. As far as the "coming of age" and "coming to terms with one's sexuality" films are concerned, this one really captures a realistic view. I would highly recommend it to any teen male who is questioning his identity, as well as to parents, teachers, and other adults who work with teens. It is not in any way pedantic nor does it preach to any topic. It is simply a very well developed and realistic film.
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10/10
This movie is awesome and definitely worth seeing. But you have to take it for what its worth. It IS an independent film.
tori_jean28 February 2005
This movie is awesome and definitely worth seeing. But you have to take it for what its worth. It IS an independent film. This film is awesome but you need to be in the right mindset and it surly isn't a Disney film. This film has such a wide range of emotions, one minute your happy for the characters and the next your angry. The acting is great and not to mentions the hot lead characters.(Ben has this face that makes your heart melt) The ending is perfect... well its not the Disney ending we all were hoping for but it fits well. You will want to watch this movie over and over again its so great. This is a movie everyone should see!!!
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Sequel! Sequel! Sequel!
azlakhan23 April 2002
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS I discovered `Get Real' quite by a wonderful accident. While thumbing through a video guide looking for a review of the original 1960s `Get Carter' with Michael Caine, I stumbled upon the `Get Real' review. I promptly borrowed the film from my video club for a week and looked at it, end to end, 8 times. I was impressed by the marvellous performances of the actors and the charm of the storytelling. There's no point in further rehashing all the film's positives, which are quite well covered by other contributors here.

Like many others, I found the ending unsatisfying. It defies belief that Steven's catharsis over coming out in front of the whole school (itself not quite credible) is so liberating that he can just turn his back on John, whom he loves so deeply, and go off driving with Linda, completely inured against pain, with the radio blaring `Freedom!' in heavy-handed symbolism. Plus, what about John? Steven's hurts are given pride of place in the narrative. I agree, however, with `smeads00' below, who points out that it is John's experience which is the more harrowing because he has still not fully come to terms with his sexuality and proves himself capable of violence against Steven, whom he truly loves, to divert suspicion away from himself and to placate his homophobic buddies. That psychological conflict cries out for resolution. Though the narrative hints early on that John will opt for the safe and sure (Oxford, wife and kids), the very fact of his open friendship with Steven, after his initial paranoia, suggests a promising psychological evolution, of watching whose further development the viewer is cheated.

I add my voice to all those others who are saying, `Sequel! Sequel! Sequel!' All of the subplots are tied up by the movie's end: Linda and the driving instructor; Mark and Wendy; the Carters, Steven and Jessica. Yet the main plot is left hanging in suspense. Of his final work, `Maurice', E. M. Forster wrote: `I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood'. Forster resolved to fly in the face of convention and give a narrative of gay love a happy ending. To the contrary, it seems that director Shore chose the easy, conventional path and let the lovers suffer and break up, though loving each other deeply. I agree with `boiofatlantis' (lower down) who says that `Get Real' tells the typical "coming-out" story: `boy meets and falls for boy but does not get to keep him'. I firmly agree with him that `this standard needs to be changed'. I also agree with `Brandy 28' who claims, `just once I would like to see a movie like this end the way it sometimes happens in real life.'

There would be much to explore in a sequel, obviously John's learning to `feel good' about himself, but also the actual evolution of the relationship between the two youths. Like `smeads00' and `spacedog 7' both point out below, the viewer is practically not privy to this at all in `Get Real'.

A final criticism: couldn't the kissing scenes could have been a bit more prolonged? They could at least have opened their mouths!
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FANTASTIC
JUANCA11 April 2001
WOW!! Id never even heard of this movie until I just happened to turn it on this morning at 6am. The memories it brought back, the pain it evoked, the ultimate triumph at the end. Not a dry eye in the house, and I'm the only one here!!! I was shocked to read it's not won any big awards (but then again, that's probably why I haven't heard about it) It certainly deserves them!!! I'm so torn up inside remembering my father finding out I was gay. It was the only time I ever saw him cry. 2 days later he had me admitted to a mental hospital. I idolized my dad, and I still do. He just couldn't understand. I don't blame him, but it was so painful. I was only 14. This movie is a must see for a number of reasons. Those reasons will become known only to you when you let them in.Whoever you are. A son, a dad, a friend. A boy who's confused and scared. Don't miss it.
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Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Engaging.
K.G. Ray27 May 1999
The film has some tense and dramatic moments, especially around divided loyalties, to family, friends, and social institutions. There is some wonderful playing around with the `damned if you do tell` `damned if you don`t tell` problem experienced by many gay men. Because of the very different ages of consent in various countries, and greater tolerance and humanity in many of them, the film may not have the same degree of urgency and polemic in all countries. The British on matters of sex are the most backward of all Europeans. Your average mainland European might think the story and some of the characters `do protest too much`. Although the U.S.A. seems to be a bit more progressive than than the U.K., I expect it has quite a lot of relevance there polemically, as Anglo-Saxon Attitudes are not unknown in the U.S.A. with regard to public virtues and private vices. The dramatic elements are very reasonable; it isn`t epic Greek tragedy, but the drama is plausible and held my attention throughout.

I think there is a too predictable tendency for films of this `coming-out` genre to over rely on the friendly `fag-hag` sidekick character - such as appeared in the BBC Drama "Two of Us", and subsequent films like "Beautiful Thing" , "Parting Glances", and so on. The female friends of many Gay men are far more important in their lives, than merely being shoulders to cry on. Whereas `Beautiful Thing` combined social realism with urban fantasy - rather like the tradition of Scandinavian `magical-reality`, `Get Real` is polemical and realist yet without being humourless. `Get Real` is not better, or worse, than `Beautiful Thing` - it is different. `Beautiful Thing` is more oriented to the personal and private emotions and feelings experienced in coming out. `Get Real` has a harder social/public activist edge to it, but it is not merely political: There is an intelligent gentleness and strength in the narrative and lead characters that confronts a meaner stimulus-response world-view with courage and maturity. Moreover, `Get Real` is an example of how Gay Film can exceed the predictability and restricted rhetoric of `straight` film. `Get Real` for all its spell-it-out social realism, has delightful ambiguities and contradictions, which make it challenging for audiences, whether gay, bisexual, tran, straight, or indifferent. `Get Real` is, I think, a valuable contribution to the Gay Film repertoire, which is thankfully growing like never before. What is more, some straight friends and colleagues of mine have enjoyed it, and have said that low-budget Gay Films may have a wider general appeal than they had expected. So many thanks to everyone involved in planning, producing, performing in and distributing `Get Real` - you have honoured the Gay community with quality and integrity: Our our culture is enriched, and many wounds are healed by your Art.
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Nifty, but flawed
smeads006 January 2001
In its themes and character development, "Get Real" is somewhere between "Maurice" and "Beautiful Thing." Steven Carter is basically the Maurice/Jamie character, while John Dixon might be destined to follow the path of Clive Durham (played by Hugh Grant in "Maurice"), who like Dixon, is a bit higher up in the British class sytem.

I found myself charmed by the movie, but irritated. Many say the film demands a sequel; and while I'd like to see such a work, the call for a sequel stems partly from the film's narrative inadequacies. Ostensibly about Steven Carter coming out, Carter is nevertheless not the heart of the movie--especially one with the title "Get Real." Carter has already gotten real with himself. But his coming out speech is a product of writer fiat and not particularly realistic in terms of how the film executes it (ie, given in front of the entire school).

I felt the heart lay more with the other gay character, John Dixon, and this is where the movie frankly begins to cheat. Ben Silverstone has garnered much deserved praise for portraying Steven, but Brad Gorton really has the harder job. The Dixon character is much more complex, almost Jekyll and Hyde in the coin flip between fear and love, and how this person with a great underlying capacity for joy and tenderness is beaten down by demons both outer and inner. John Dixon is a far more realistic character, and his inability to admit his homosexuality in a public manner is a much greater mirror of the times--and of gay history in its totality. Also, this is a character who has just admitted to himself that he's gay--after that scene, the movie's timespan takes up barely, say, a few weeks worth of narration--imagine the kind of leap Steven is expecting John to make, when Steven has trouble being open and he's accepted his gayness for over 5 years.

The greatest cheat comes when Kevin Grainger, one of John's friends and Steven's tormentors, finds Steven and John together in a swimming pool--in a pretty "dodgy" position (John is sitting on Steven's shoulders). John is completely at peace with the situation--leading one to think, Ok, this character has accepted himself at last (the scene occurs after John has decided to openly allow others at their school to know he has formed a friendship with Steven, so the swimming pool scene seems like a natural progression). John's subsequent actions are such a regression, they become a plot contrivance.

The second cheat is the ending itself, which tries to tack on a happy conclusion that doesn't resolve any character conflicts--Steven gets into his friend Linda's car, and they drive off to an Aretha Franklin song. This is not getting real. Had the filmmakers cut that scene in favor of about 10 more minutes of dialogue between John and Steven, this would be a much more superior movie. It isn't necessary for the two to get together and start slow dancing on the soccer field, their relationship renewed; but it's far more real for two people who've been through a lot to sit and actually talk to each other, regardless of their emotions (unless it's utter hate, which is far from the case here). These characters hardly exchange any meaningful talk at all, and that strikes me as laziness on the writer's part.

The filmmakers are going for ambiguity regarding the future between Steven and John, and I respect that. Steven's last words to John are a personal plea--"Be happy." This plea could go either way: telling John to be happy in his life, which isn't going to involve Steven; or telling John to be happy about "what I just did in there" (ie, coming out so publicly), because it's going to serve as a model for John's subsequent liberation. After all, John's father is already suspicious after John is caught lying about not knowing Steven. Pointed questions about their friendship are bound to arise, and in a way one extrapolates that John has had the burden of coming out somewhat lifted from his shoulders by Steven's public outcry. Taken altogether, the movie hints that Steven's father will come around and that John and Steven will have their "more romantic moments."

In my mental sequel, anyway, the two end up being just fine. But the two characters could have talked far more while still leaving the fate of their love relationship undetermined. These are both smart characters trying to figure themselves and each other out, and the movie missed a crucial moment to let them really spar with each other. Others my well conclude that at this point in the action, the two have nothing further to say to each other. I can only disagree.

All in all, a good movie--vastly superior to American teen flicks, which all seem to star Drew Barrymore or Freddie Prinze Jr. One last question: if you were Steven Carter and had just spent your first night in bed naked with the love of your dreams, John Dixon, would you have gotten out of bed (with him still in it) to fix breakfast? To go to the bathroom? Get real.
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7/10
The Brits Know the Right Way To Go Gay
madcardinal3 July 2011
A very good movie. First of all, it avoids the ludicrous pitfall of thirty-somethings or twenty-somethings trying to play teenagers a la Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in "Grease". That kind of inauthentic casting has ruined the verisimilitude and integrity of far too many movies about young people. Roger Ebert once said only half jokingly that there should be a law that actors playing young adults or children must be the age of their characters; and judging from some of the untenable performances turned in by older actors in movies of this genre, I'm inclined to agree with him. All the actors playing teenagers in this movie are believable as teenagers, and this authenticity is a decided asset. I found this movie poignant, touching and aptly awkward in places. It reminded me of high school life. The director and actors achieve just the right mix of erotic longing, real-world constraints, uncertainty and the tension of trying to build a self in a complicated world. Not quite as superb as its close cousin, "Beautiful Thing," but very good nonetheless. Highly recommended to anyone fair-minded enough to appreciate a movie featuring gay characters.
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9/10
an A+ for Ben Silverstone.
derekkosilla8 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The beginning of the movie (Spoiler?) was as real as any gay teen would like to admit. The scenes of the public toilets of Blasingstoke were surprisingly frank, and I was wondering if this movie was going to take on a direction of a more of an adult soft-porn movie. I was glad when it didn't (really I was), and after watching it, I watched it several times before it's five-day rental expired. I then purchased it as soon as it became available on DVD.

I have noticed this movie compared to Beautiful Thing several times. Obviously, they are both coming of age and out stories, both with one boy comfortable with his sexuality while the other at odds with his. However, with Beautiful Thing, (a film I also truly enjoyed) the premise is more between two "boys" while I feel Get Real is between two "young men". It seems like the character of Steven Carter, already went through the stage "Jamie" of Beautiful Thing experienced. I guess Get Real can be thought of as somewhat like the sequel of Beautiful Thing.

This movie ranks high for it's realism. I appreciated that throughout the movie. As someone who could identify with Steven at that age, Ben Silverstone, portrayed Steven perfectly-truly exemplifying what an insecure, gay teenager would experience at that stage of his life. His scene (spoiler ?) when he is waiting for John Dixon in the rain, crying with an empty bottle of wine they were to share, was on of the best.

This movie ranks in my top five of gay-theme movies. If the ending of the movie was disappointing to some viewers, all I can say is "Get Real".
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10/10
As Real as one can Get (MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)
hyperexcel15 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This film depicts coming out the truthful way - not shameful martyrdom, nor frivolous celebration or even enlightenment, but rather quiet, neurotic, adolescent anxiety and triumph.

Wilde's story envelops the central teenage coming out story with other seeds of young, angst-ridden romance, to strengthen the idea that coming out and engaging in romantic behavior with someone of the same sex is as real, commonplace, and even as erratic as romance with someone of the opposite sex.

Ben Silverstone is landmark in the role of the proud but fledgling homosexual enduring hardship after hardship in the first crucial weeks of publicly admitting his orientation. Brad Gorton shines as his reluctant lover, bringing tender scenes of frustration and affection to terms in the film. Charlotte Brittain rounds up the three main characters as the most hilarious "fag hag" on celluloid, enamoured of her driving instructor and endlessly dogging her gay best friend.

Get Real is a roller coaster of intensity, getting as close as possible to Steven Carter's fears as an openly gay teenager. You feel the tension and passion in his performance every minute.

A seminal film about adversity, adolescence, and finding your greatest love and relinquishing it with dignity.
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10/10
Five Star Movie!!!
smc-16 July 2001
This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. The acting is superb, the direction is great. I could really relate to the characters in this movie. The British have out done the Americans again. Americans have some trouble when it comes to homosexuality and making movies concerning it. This movie is very believable and very well done. I will treasure this movie forever!
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10/10
The best gay movie you will ever see
BAMEZ22 April 2001
This movie was the best sexuality finding movie I have ever seen. It gives advice which would be helpful to a teenager like me who is still finding their sexuality. A top movie and a definate to watch for all teens who think they are gay or bisexual. :)
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