A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself.
Olaf "Gunn" Gunnunderson, an out-and-proud gay college student, crawls back into the closet to survive the holidays with his family. He keeps his cool as his quirky Midwestern-hearted ... See full summary »
A "coming out" story that avoids all the tired cliches and stays committed to telling the stories of these characters, "East Side Story" examines bias of all kinds and features stirring performances by incredibly attractive actors.
In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.
If you had a love-potion, who would you make fall madly in love with you? Timothy, prone to escaping his dismal high school reality through dazzling musical daydreams, gets to answer that question in a very real way. After his eccentric teacher casts him as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he stumbles upon a recipe hidden within the script to create the play's magical, purple love-pansy. Armed with the pansy, Timothy's fading spirit soars as he puckishly imposes a new reality by turning much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby-jock of his dreams. Ensnaring family, friends and enemies in this chaos, Timothy forces them to walk a mile in his musical shoes. The course of true love never did run smooth; it's a bumpy ride. Written by
In the scene from All Things Shall Be Peace, as the characters and Ms. Tebbit are under the tree, Cole (in the gray shirt) is standing behind Ms. Tebbit and Donna. In the next shot, Cole is kneeling in front of them. In the next shot Cole is standing behind them again. See more »
I just saw this movie at the San Francisco LGBT festival with a packed house at the Castro Theater, where it provided one of those lightning-in-a-bottle moments that sometimes happen at film fests. Yours truly is a cynical old curmudgeon of a film-goer, and when a movie can win me over this way (along with the rest of the audience) it's like a gift from out of the blue; I found myself not questioning or analyzing the experience, just letting myself give in to pure enjoyment. I'm not surprised that it keeps winning audience awards at festivals; people are grateful when a movie sweeps them up into its own world.
How the magic happens here, I don't know, especially since this is a movie by such a relatively inexperienced director. But I think I can put my finger on a few elements that make this mix happen. First, Wendy Robie as the drama teacher. I previously knew her only as crazy Nadine ("silent curtain rollers!") on "Twin Peaks." She's every gay boy's dream teacher from high school, and only gradually do we begin to realize that she must be more than she seems. Second, though the film is called a musical, and there are indeed songs, the use of music is surprisingly sparing. We don't get a big musical number every 15 minutes; instead the songs are used to capture certain states of mind and to introduce magical elements in the story. I actually left the theater wanting more music (a rare experience!). And third, the ugly homophobic elements in the movie at first seem almost jarringly realistic; this serves to heighten the magic of the wish-fulfillment.
Magic doesn't always work in movies or on the stage; not every production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" can capture Shakespeare's whimsy. But for me, it does work in this movie, and I'm a little awed by the experience.
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