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Feel good, charming and very inspiring-- if heavily flawed...
Jesse Ung23 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Geography Club is an exceptionally motivated film. It's messages are simultaneously subtle and prominent--and there are many that audiences can take from it. It's appeal, whilst obviously aimed towards adolescents, is genuine. It never feels cheap, never ham-fisted and doesn't try to be something that it isn't. The performances from it's cast are exceptional, and I feel inclined to note in particular Ted Ovilares whose incredible and heartbreaking portrayal of Brian Bund was perfect, and Cameron Deane Stewart who played a very identifiable and relatable Russell Middlebrook. It's funny, it's fast, it's beautifully filmed, charming, feel good and inspiring pure and simple.

However, the film's biggest flaw to me-- as a person who's read the novel-- is that it barely scrapes the surface of what the characters and their development, and their relationships were. For instance, Russell and Kevin's relationship, whilst sweetly and endearingly portrayed in the film, was simply not explored nearly enough to be able to understand the depth of his feelings for Kevin (and vice versa). In the book, (SPOILERS) the reason why Kevin and Russell's break up at the end is so heartbreaking is because they were still in love with each other afterwards, they both wanted different things as characters--Russell was prepared to be out whilst Kevin was not--and they knew that it couldn't work despite their feelings for each other. In the film, it's just not very satisfyingly portrayed. The characters aren't as layered as they are in the book.

What I'm trying to say is that there is so much more to these characters than what you see in the film--which really only barely scrapes the surface of them. Their motivations behind their decisions and their priorities-- what is important to them and what (and who) they care about is what makes them and their stories so compelling. I understand that liberties have to be taken when adapting content to the screen, and while the way the characters are seen very much fit the narrative direction the film chose, I just didn't feel as if we spent enough time with them to truly understand their relationships--their growth or deterioration, and feel what they're going through. What's simply missing here is a sense of narrative resolution.

This being said however, Geography Club is a must see film for adolescents. I can almost guarantee that there will be something or someone in the film that any viewer will be able to identify with and or relate to. It's fast, it's funny, it's inspiring and it's flawed, but I cannot recommend it more. It's such an important film that I am sure viewers from all walks of life will recognize its importance.
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Seven-and-three-quarters of a minute in: 10/10.
ryan-o-west9 May 2015
That's right: I'm seven minutes and forty-five seconds into this movie, and I'm already declaring it a 10/10.

Why? Because these kinds of gay movies are joyous, a breath of much-needed fresh air, and---I daresay---IMPORTANT.

Currently---and despite our much-lauded progressive attitudes---watching a "gay romance" is a bit like walking a Vietnam-era minefield: You're never quite sure if the characters and relationships you're rooting for are going to catch AIDS, be lynched, and/or commit suicide by the end... because they usually do. (Consider: The most mainstream "gay romance" at the time of this writing ends with one of our heroes being tire-ironed to death on the side of a freeway.)

So: "Living happily ever after" is one hell of a risky bet.

Admittedly, there's an undeniable place for such poignant, melancholy fare... but sometimes... sometimes... I just want to watch a cheesy, happy movie! Does that make me a bad person?! That was a rhetorical question: NO! No, it does not!

Dammit, I want to watch a movie where I know, going in, that the muffin I'm smiling for isn't going to suffer horribly and then die alone! No one likes minefields!

And seven minutes and forty-fives seconds in, this movie told me I wasn't in a minefield.

That is one HELL of a rare treat in the desolate, self-immolating landscape of despair to which we're so-often subjected.
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Interesting movie with a good story...
Paul Magne Haakonsen22 December 2013
I sat down to watch "Geography Club" without having read the synopsis, just thinking this to be another one of those teen comedy movies. I was surprised when I found out what it actually was all about.

Surprised, yeah, but not in a bad way. This movie is actually rather entertaining, but at the same time it is quite compelling and riveting. This is the kind of movie that you get swept away by, because the story is realistic and the characters even more so.

The story is about Russell (played by Cameron Deane Stewart) who is coming of age and is struggling with his sexuality. Standing at a crossroad of his sexuality, facing a very difficult social situation by outing his gay sexuality. He gets into a secret relationship with Kevin (played by Justin Deeley) who is on the college football team. Caught between his own morals and his friendship to Gunnar (played by Andrew Caldwell), Russell lives a double life.

Now, don't expect to be flat out laughing yourself to tears from this movie, because it is not that kind of comedy. This movie is more of a subtle comedy that is very realistic and tied to events that we can relate to in one way or another.

The movie is nicely told and directed by director Gary Entin. But even more importantly, it is so nicely acted out on the screen by every one on the cast list.

"Geography Club" is a very nice movie that you should take the time to sit down and watch.
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Coming of age gay story
Tom Dooley26 April 2015
Russell is gay and is in the closet, he is keeping his head down to study with the hope of living up to his parent's dreams and actually getting into Yale. He is also playing it straight by dating girls and being the wing man for his best friend Gunnar.

Then he goes on a field trip and gets entangled with Jock footballer Kevin. His secret is now out but he still isn't. What follows is a 'nice' coming of age tale that will have no surprises but is warm and human enough to satisfy most viewers.

This is not a sexathon either - nothing to frighten the horses here - there is some humour, there is some bullying and abusive behaviour but that is essentially a story about growing up and being honest about who you are. I have seen some very negative reviews of this and was initially put off from seeing it; after watching it I actually felt good for having seen it - so this is one I can easily recommend.
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Entertaining & Compelling
guidoverweyen-17 October 2013
A very entertaining and compelling comedy. It's one of those timeless movies that stay relevant regardless of what decade you're in. It's an inspiring & touching comedy about friendship, identity & the courage to speak out. Reminds me of My So Called Life. It combines humor, wit and important life lessons. The whole cast did a great job, portraying complex characters, making it easy to identify with the situations they face. I especially loved Grant Harvey's portrayal of Nolan, one of the most complex characters of the movie. The filmmakers (Gary & Edmund Entin) succeed in capturing the reality that plays out across schools across the country, where being different can be frightening, awkward and disturbing. Fans of Brent Harbinger's book will love this movie, it captures the optimism and drama in a realistic and believable way. Probably geared towards young adults, it should be seen by anybody.
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Well acted, important topic, but oh! the liberties taken by the writers!
mindnbody1 March 2014
Like several other reviewers before me, I just happened upon this movie and therefore had few expectations. And, like them, I was pleasantly surprised. As a mature gay man, I think the topic of bullying in schools is an important, yet complicated one: it is easy to sit back from the action and judge, but to experience it -- especially at such a confusing time of life -- isn't quite so black and white. So. ultimately, I thought it was a good film and was happy to have discovered it.

Then I went to IMDb to offer a rating - perhaps a "7" - and learned that the film was based on a series of books written by Brent Hartinger. So, I ran over to and purchased the first and, upon completion of that, the remaining three books. Then, my opinion changed a bit.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the acting was actually quite good and that (for a small film) the production quality was higher than one might expect. However, the liberties that the screenplay writers took with the book's rich content were mind-boggling. As a life-long fan of both books and movies, I fully understand that strict translations of page to screen are nearly impossible and often fall flat when they do occur. However, the extent of the changes were so pervasive that it is nearly impossible to recognize some of the characters - in fact, reading the book helped me understand my confusion over the conflicting actions/statements of some of the characters in the film, who it appears were patched together from other characters in the book.

I think what bothers me more than anything is that I fear several of the liberties taken by the screen writers will really threaten any possibility of screen versions of the sequels in the book series. It's a shame, because the journey of these characters is a good and honest one that I think many teens would find compelling.

I awarded 5 points for tackling the topic in a realistic and accessible manner. An extra point for the nice portrayals by the young cast. It's still a good movie, but could easily have been a better one had the writers taken better care and trusted the original author. I encourage anyone interested in this movie or its topic to look for the books (hard copy, e-book, or audio book).
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Great movie, worth a watch.
imdb-9252730 September 2017
This movies tells a story of a teen coming to terms with his sexuality. What I love about this movie is its a very realistic story that happens in every day life. Its a really nice movie and I wish there were more like this. I totally recommend that you watch this movie to everyone... LGBT or straight. Its a good watch and shows real problems that people face today.
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Unlikely but immensely watchable movie about being gay and closeted at school.
david-31658 August 2015
You can tell from the opening scene what type of movie this is going to be and I didn't mind one bit. The handsome school jock is closeted and finding it difficult to hook up with anyone until he meets another closeted high school jock. A small group of nerdy types regularly hold meetings in a school classroom under the guise of a Geography Club, knowing such a group would surely be ignored by the rest of school. Of course they are the local gay kids hiding behind the sign. The handsome jock stumbles upon the club and is convinced to join.

I think the holding power of this movie is the lead character played by Cameron Deane Stewart. He is very good in this role, very likable and very handsome. The story line is fairly slim on drama but the movie does redeem itself in the closing scenes. I must say I went in to this movie not excepting a lot and came our surprised enough to write this review and to say give it a go. Also look out for the cool cameo by Scott Bakula (Qantam Leap and later playing gay in Looking), in a very uplifting and rewarding scene around the family dinner table.
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A powerful and touching film
Gordon-111 March 2014
This film tells the story of a young man in high school, who is coming to terms with his sexuality with help with his new friends in the Geography Club.

"Geography Club" shows that a low budget and no frills film can be heartwarming and fun to watch. The plot follows a 16 years old man called Russell, who meets a football jock. He is terrified of coming out, but with the right support he lives happily. It is a great coming of age story, with emphasis on self acceptance; and living your own life for yourself and not anyone else. It is a powerful film, especially the scene where the bullied boy invites Russell to sit down. "Geography Club" is a powerful and touching film, and it breathes of positivity. I really enjoyed watching "Geography Club".
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Geography Club: A Film of the Present and Inspiration for the Future
allen-theresa-b15 November 2013
Geography Club is a colorful film that challenges societal norms and simultaneously calls attention to the stereotypes that weigh on humanity. It tells a story of a group of students struggling with their identity and their journey to find their own sense of belonging. The difficulties of identifying as a homosexual are shown through the intense pressure from friends, family, and bullies that are received by individuals of the film at all ends. It exercises the powerful idea that how someone sexually identifies, does not determine who you are as a person. Heart rendering and delightful, this film is one that opens the door to a new era of acceptance and equality where people have the freedom of expression. The wonderfully done humor really balances the seriousness of the subject and gives it a positive tone throughout. It is a fantastic film that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, races, and sexualities and, I believe, will inspire for years to come.
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Personal feelings on the movie, not a "review" per se.
whateverson29 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers

This is my second time watching this movie, I remember that the first time I actually liked and was only bothered by the ending but, now seeing for the second time I founded quite disappointing because of some things, like: 1- The chemistry between the Russel and Kevin to me was lackluster. 2 - People being awful just for fun, and we needed more depth into some characters like Kevin, I still don't understand his motivations. 3- The actions of some of the characters that change in seconds, like Russel and Kevin in a minute they are kissing on a bench and the other Kevin is kicking out Russel of the team. 4- The acting did not work for me.

So that's it, the movie for me had potential but didn't deliver, it could have been so much more.

P.S.: Russel and Kevin are gorgeous, specially Kevin.
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Good Overall
bkindanice18 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Before I begin there are drastic changes from the the book and the movie adaptation, which may or may not be a bad thing.

Movie Review: This movie is a coming of age story of Russell Middlebrook in a very small hometown. Like many other gay coming of age It deals with Russell trying to come to terms with his homosexuality. The main cast are relate able and the acting for most of the cast is very well done and excellent chemistry with one another. Since it is an adaptation from 1st person point of view the actors had the difficult task of portraying emotions through facial expressions, which in most scenes worked. One of the big issues that I do agree with some of the other reviewers is that character development wasn't the best and it focused more on the story. The story in my opinion was really well organized and they edited scene per scene to make it flow very well. Even though gay coming of age stories have been done before it's an enjoyable watch and very fast paced with a satisfying and more realistic ending. As a movie not comparing to the book and on it's own I give it an 8 out of 10.

Movie VS Book Review (SPOILERS): The movie and book is drastically different and some of the choices the director made in my opinion made the it more interesting but also a few things I didn't understand why they changed. For instance Min in the novel is Russell's other best friend which I didn't get why they changed that. The movie was fast paced which I didn't mind but that did cut out in character development and some plot. Another change they made was that Russell was originally infatuated with Kevin from the start, they didn't have to make it pathetic but they could have at least made it apparent. They also over developed the bullies which could have been spent on the main characters. I did however like how they mad Ike more than a guy who liked Kevin, which was more annoying than anything else in the book. One of the main arguments that I had about the movie was that Kevin was less in the movie than he was in the book. In the book he also joined the Geography Club and spent a lot of time becoming friends with the others and teaching Russell how to play sports. Otherwise the movie I think did well. with those exceptions and they did well with some of the additions they made to fit the story.
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Great For Younger Viewers
meaninglessbark5 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There's not much wrong with Geography Club other than it's not that interesting for adults. As a teen movie it's better than most and that makes it worth a 7 rating.

Geography club looks and develops like a made-for-TV movie with aspects of after school specials. The acting is adequate, a couple of the younger actors show promise of being good.

The plot for the most part feels realistic in that it meanders, is somewhat unfocused, and nothing comes to a definite conclusion. The characters are mostly one dimensional with the exception of a kid who's bullied at school and apparently abused at home...His character has more going on than is ever addressed.

There are glaringly unrealistic elements which makes Geography Club seem more like a typical high school movie such as the main character gets on the football team with no prior experience or interest in the game.

Geography Cub is ideal for young teens. There's no soft porn sex or gratuitous nudity nor is there any hit-you-over-the-head tragedy. The film is occasionally genuinely funny and there's enough diversity in the characters that most young viewers could either identify with them or find them familiar. (Although as is typical of almost every queer film made the lead and his boyfriend are good looking white guys with great bodies.)
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Closing Credits
Franco-LA29 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The movie, given its budget, is essentially technically sound as far as some aspects. The lack of money is clearly visible in some areas, such as the sign-age for the high school. In others, such as the football game, sufficient extras and the location match that of a higher budgeted project (e.g. Friday Night Lights, etc.) Some of the technical aspects were actually conveyed well, such as the cinematography: one good example is the rain scene kiss, some of the bike riding shots, etc. The acting is generally good, but with no real standouts.

However, where the story fails is with the character development, plotting, script. A good number of the reviewers here have complained with changes from the book to film; some of these have blamed the poor characterizations on this factor as well. However, a book is not a movie and, as someone who read the book some years ago, this is NOT the problem here.

Some of the changes are not apparently necessary, nor improvements (for example, there's no real good reason to make the Ike character into one form of stereotype in exchange for how he was portrayed in the book). Other changes (such as Russell not being sure he wants to identify as gay at the start of the movie, unlike book Russell), or the changes to other characters are really less issues, and in some ways, integral to the themes the movie wants to explore: coming out as a teenager is hard, teens have to deal with peer pressure on multiple levels, parental pressure, homophobia and bullying.

In respect to these themes, the movie fails and comes across as very dated, particularly when you consider movies far older than the book source (Edge of Seventeen or Get Real), covered these topics with much better scripts and character development. The YA adult section of any library also has a surfeit of books (any by David Levithan) with more interesting characters and plots than the source book here.

Where the characters (and thus the story) are harmed here is with their shallowness - such as Trish and Kimberly (Kimberly is a one dimensional aspiring drunk unable to go for the guy she wants so doing an end-run with his less desirable friend for some unexplained, unknown reason in spite of the portrayal as aggressive and domineering otherwise). In particular, it is implausible that four sets of parents would allow age 16 teens to go away for an entire weekend unsupervised. Yes, a set of parents could go out of town and their child could have a party with alcohol for one evening, for which other kids could sneak away, but we are unnecessarily told (for what happens) that is a two day event.

It's even more implausible that authority figures would not have done something to the boys who clearly pushed out the Brian character from the cafeteria closet, particularly given that adults are shown with the same clear site lines that the Nim character enjoyed as Russell slipped guiltily out. Most preposterously, the posting of the flyer with a fairly innocuous and truly ambiguous snap shot of a boy pushing a girl away is in no way an outing, and not particularly an embarrassing, shaming outing (in comparison to a bar, underwear and lipstick humiliation, say). Even the most homophobic student body would not so immediately discarded someone who just won a football game for them with such ease without further proof (and, unless the movie does not tell us this fact, but is chronological takes place in say 2001, the digital image from what looks like a current era cell phone would have been uploaded to social media, not pasted onto paper flyers).

The movie fails because it's shallow, simplistic and BAD; the problem is not deviation from the book, it's simply a poorly written/plotted movie with undeveloped characters. Yes, teenagers might benefit from stories about bullying, peer pressure and homophobia - but there are far more superior existing movies for that.
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One outstanding coming out movie
bkoganbing3 December 2017
The high school where the subjects of this film go have an after school club called The Geography Club. Not something you think would be a great activity. Imagine discussing topography and climate of individual regions on our club as an exciting activity after school.

But in this place it is a euphemism where kids who are LGBT or wondering if can go for a bit of safe space. God only knows they need it. For those who are stereotypes they're needing it bad and that's obvious.

But our main characters Cameron Deane Stewart and Justin Deeley are not stereotypes. They're both jocks, Stewart runs track and Deeley is a football player who gets Stewart on the team just so they can hang out and it seem normal. These two should they want to make the leap and it's a pretty formidable decision need this also as the film demonstrates.

Rough as it is to come out, Stewart gets untimely ripped from the closet and that's ready or not you have to deal with it then. Saddest case of all in the film is Russell Olivares for whom school is just living hell. He doesn't even know if he really is attracted to men, he only knows he's at peace only when he plays the cello.

Best moment for me is when Deeley walks into the Geography Club and past a phalanx of future Trump voters, some former teammates. He's had a bad time when Stewart was outed and they react differently to the experience.

Geography Club is highly recommended for young gay audiences. Should be required for PFLAG audiences.
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As phony, superficial and weird as the makeup on the macho jock
jm1070128 October 2014
When everything about a movie is equally bad, it's interesting what stands out the most.

In this uniformly bad movie, it's the makeup. The actors are wearing SO MUCH MAKEUP, and there are so many extreme closeups in unnatural light and unnaturally saturated color photography, that all I see is the heavy lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow and blush on a guy who's supposed to be a macho jock and definitely is NOT supposed to be in drag. And that's on my TV - God knows what he would look like on the huge screen in a theatre, probably like the garishly made-up troll-woman on the old Drew Carey sitcom.

The heavy makeup is so distracting that it would completely sabotage any drama or comedy that's supposed to be going on, even if the writing, directing and acting weren't just as bad as the makeup. This is definitely one ONLY for dreamy-eyed adolescents and their middle-aged admirers, people who see life just as it looks in this movie - thick, cartoon-colored and all on the surface.
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Not your typical HS Film but it's great!
Ki Turner19 November 2013
Geography Club is not your typical high school movie. It's inspirational and funny at the same time. The movie is based on Brent Hartinger's best- selling novel Geography Club. This movie will always be relevant and It's a must see for teens and young adults. The topic of LGBTQ is serious topic in society and I love how the movie displayed it light heartily. The movie is teens discovering who they are and standing up for what they believe in. It's all about courage, friendship, trust and love. The movie does the book great justice and all of the actors/actresses play their characters perfectly. Geography Club shows the importance of teens being supported in the LGBTQ community.
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Geography Club
Kirsten Kinsella15 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Geography Club is an inspirational movie that every LGBTQ youth should see. It's based off Brent Hartinger's novel of the same name and follows Russell Middlebrook as he learns to be proud of his sexuality and unafraid of what others think. Cameron Deane Stewart lends a quiet grace to the character of Russell and makes you hope that things will work out for him and his secret quarterback boyfriend Kevin, played by Justin Deeley. Their sweet romance was one of my favorite parts of this movie. When Russell and Kevin get caught kissing by Min, a fellow classmate, she invites them to join the 'Geography Club' which is the code name for a secret meet-up of fellow gay students. Min's girlfriend Terese is played by Hairspray's Nikki Blonsky in a role unlike anything she's done before and Alex Newell, from The Glee Project and Glee, puts in a heartfelt and humorous performance as Ike, a boy who's desperately trying to convince others he's "80% straight." As the movie goes on, Min wants to drop the 'Geography Club' façade and invite all students to join their school's first GSA but the others are unsure. The film doesn't shy away from showing the heartbreaking things that gay youth must deal with, including bullying, ignorance, discrimination and disappointment. Teens watching it will feel less alone and realize that other people are going through the same things they are. Geography Club sends out a message of tolerance, respect and love to its audience. The stunning performances from the young cast and the engaging, realistic storyline make Geography Club a must-see.
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An Exercise in "Cute"
hddu1010 November 2016
Yup, I would have to say "cute" is the best way to describe this entire movie. Geography Club is a reflection of modern teen high school culture, wherein pretty much all the actors (male and female) are beautiful to look at, dress well, and live predictable suburban lives. The fact that this particular film centers around the gay aspect of high school life, particularly through the eyes of the main character brings a slightly different side which most students may not know. However, all in all, there is nothing really profound or new being said here; just the trials and tribulations of a high school student who is trying to come to terms with his homosexuality, and figure out his relationship with someone he has a crush on. The production values are really well done and the acting, given the particularly light treatment subject matter (I've honestly seen heavier drama on this topic on television) make this just cute brain-candy. If you want a light, feel-good teen movie, this is a good way to spend a couple of hours.
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well intentioned
SnoopyStyle27 February 2015
Min (Ally Maki) catches Russell Middlebrook (Cameron Deane Stewart) kissing quarterback Kevin Land. The guys are desperate to hide it. Min wants them to join her 'Geography Club' which is actually a support group for gay teens with Terese (Nikki Blonsky) and Ike (Alex Newell). Russell comes to join the group. His friend Gunnar begs him to go on a double date with Trish (Meaghan Martin). Kevin brings him onto the football team. Brian tries to join with different problems of his own and they decide to open up the group to other teens. Their alternative teacher Mrs. Toles (Ana Gasteyer) gets suspended after an interview with the school newspaper.

It's slightly sweet and has good intentions with a serious subject matter. CDS is not a particularly charismatic lead although he gets the fear of the character very nicely. This feels more like a PSA than an actual movie. It just needs a better director to get a more compelling telling out of the material.
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A Must See Movie
derrick532916 November 2013
So I finally watched Geography Club. The movie is basically a coming of age story dealing with sexuality, bullying, intolerance, abuse and acceptance but dealt with in a very lighthearted way. I have to admit i got a little emotional when it was over because i thought about the struggle with myself and not fully being able to be myself. Than finally having the courage to finally be myself and feeling a lot happier. I am so happy that there is a movie out here like this and i highly recommend it. I think this a very important movie for this generation and i think everyone needs to see this kids and adults alike.
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Good movie. Every step in the right direction is still a good step.
Jesse Boland12 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have to first just say that they spent a lot of time filming the tree that George McFly falls out of, but I think I was already hooked by then(even though that would have been it for me, this movie would already have my approval). This is so well acted, and real. There are great performances by every single stereotype portrayed in this movie, and this movie is all stereotypes, but they all work. There is a great build up in the structure of the story, and the strength of the friendship between the two lead buddies is easily believable. But common how does Andrew Caldwell never age? Basically this is a more out of the closet, and less in the sound booth Glee without the need for all the singing. I Enjoyed the story, and really liked the characters (Meaghan Martin and Scott Bakula are just a bonus) I would recommend this for a good heartwarmer with no real surprises, but good none the less.
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Good enough
phoenix 28 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Russell is a high school boy who tries to hide his sexuality in order to feat in and be close to the boy he is in love with, a football player. The film is an enjoyable movie, not too teenage cliché though, which is a relief. It approaches the sensitive matters of homosexuality and bulling with a notch of humour and a sweet, young view, without overdoing it. Even the ending was great, very unexpected and quite original, which added to the film quite a lot more than just teenage romance. The other complementary stories were nice and entertaining. The performances were alright, nothing extraordinary though. So 4 out of 10 for geography club.
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Definitely not the book!
keojj-2210 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This opinion might soil your viewing experience -- (SPOILER AHEAD).

Briefly, this film lacks the character development of Brent Hartinger's, "The Geography Club" largely due to the inaccuracies of its narrative. The screenplay greatly adjusted the chronology of events in the novel and in doing so the consequences of character interaction became watered down. Victim to cinematic alteration, the journey of Russell and Kevin's love affair becomes marginalized if not completely shallow. One of the pillars of the novel are the sacrifices that each character make to become closer to each other -- the ultimate being their involvement within the secret club -- creating the tension necessary to convey the pain of a crushing separation. In the film Kevin seems weak with selfish identity issues and Russell is warped into a less confident, more conflicted version of himself. Russell was never confused about his sexuality in the novel and yet in the film he was very hesitant to define his attractions as "gay" (a reflection of current views on male sexuality no doubt) . Kevin, in the novel was never outright selfish so much as he was afraid/preservationist of his popularity becoming compromised while cinematically he was a self-hating jock (specifically, he did want to be gay and preferred football) with parents who clearly knew he was closeted.

There is so much more:

  • Ike was a liberal political activist in the novel and far from his cinematic portrayal - Teresa was the female equivalent of Kevin and far from accountable to Min - Gunnar was Norwegian, slightly vindictive, extremely smart and socially awkward.. not the "clown" - Min and Russell were far more close which made the Sting of Russell's treatment of Brian much worse - Where was Belinda? Oh wait, the heterosexual, overweight daughter of an alcoholic was morphed into Ike or Teresa.. - There is no science trip.

Just so much.. Read the book. You Can read the e-book for free.. just google it!!!
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Amazing movie! I love it!
pgrotta127 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
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Okay so this is an amazing film. I absolutely loved every minute of it and I have watched it more than 3 times. It has to be my favorite coming of age films! The character of Russell is amazing. The chemistry between the character Russell and Kevin is just absolutely great. The struggles in high school bullying and trying to have the strength of coming out and defending others. It just touched me. Personally, I am not out but I have a similar story on the Russell end of things and to be honest it has to be one my favorites because it does touch the heart. I do wish that the ending was slightly different but I just hope that this goes into a sequel.

It's a great film! Everyone should watch it!
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