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Get Real (1998)
Thin Line Between Love and Hate
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?