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IN SHORT: Not for breeders.
High School is, perhaps, the biological high point in any young man's life. The hormones and the sex drive are hitting their peak. School dances are the place where certain, um, grinding techniques are learned during slow dances. It is such a dance that is the high point of Get Real, as 16 year old Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone) gazes longingly across the dance floor at the local underwear model Christina Lindmann (Louise J. Taylor) and the superstudly guy hanging around her neck, John Dixon (Brad Gorton). John is the object of lust of every femme in the class.
He's also the object of Steven's eye.
Let's be honest folk. Cranky is not the target demographic for a dramatic film about a teenboy's coming out. It's simple enough to handle when it's a subplot in a bigger story, but in this concentrated a dose, it better be written by a Hemingway for Cranky to make a connection. Just as I bring girlfriends to chick flicks, so did I ask a gay friend to come along to the screening of Get Real, just to get a proper reaction from someone that's been through what Steven is about to.
Set in Britain, and following a pattern just like the news stories about George Michael, Steven has begun to experiment with his sexuality by picking up strangers outside the public lavatory in the local park. Though he is thoroughly in the closet, he confides his feelings to his best friend Linda (Charlotte Brittain), the fat girl next door. Not only is she his friend, Linda is his "beard" - the girl he hangs with at school dances, lest it get out that he really is as queer as the school bullies claim he is.
As unpleasant a scenario as it may seem, the john pickups lead to at least one humorous revelation. They also lead to the shocker that Dixon is having the same gay feelings. Building a relationship while keeping an outside, heterosexual cover relationships going, is the course Get Real steers, until Steven comes out in a big way.
Speaking strictly as a breeder, Cranky was bored silly. Based on a stage play, Get Real still has the feel of a stage play. The full blown closeups on the romantic stuff was just too much for these hetero eyes to endure. It's one thing when humor is injected into the moment (as in In & Out) or when it's buried off center in a crowd or at a slight distance. It's of no interest when you can see jaws quiver. (T'ain't no fag bashing here. Read my review of Clint Eastwood's True Crime for the alternative opinion).
Cranky knew what was coming going in. (Absolutely no pun intended). Let us then turn to the reaction of Cranky's pal Russell, for the gay POV. Russell thought that this story was probably about 15 years behind the time. It may be relevant to whatever's happening in England at this time, but it is nothing that hasn't been seen and dealt with in America over the last decade or two. The boys were cute but numerous possibilities to extend the romance into more exotic and erotic zones - Steven at one point takes some lovely photos of John; we see the final product but we don't see the photo session - were missed. A mixed review from the other side of the aisle.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Get Real, he would have paid...
$0.00 for breeders , or
per my pal, who thought Brad Gorton was yummy.
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