A Welcome and a Definition

Culture Vulture: "A person with a strong, sometimes obsessive, interest in the arts." Culture Vultures spend a lot of time observing the world. This is where those observations come out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Were the World Mine

Usually, I would never review a movie once it's out on DVD. I always figured, once the DVD is out, it's usually old hat. However, I am making the exception for the excellent Were the World Mine, mostly because it only came out last year and was a very small movie.

Many movies with strong gay characters and gay themes are frankly not great movies. I wonder if it's because these directors feel they will draw a gay audience and no else, so they cut corners with the plot and character development. Or maybe it's just the fact so few movies with strong gay themes are made that anyone immediately gets a certain amount of distribution. Either way, Were the World Mine is one shining exception.

Timothy is a young gay man, living in a small town and attends a private boys' school. He has only recently come out, and is contending with the fact that he is the only gay person he knows. Meanwhile, he is teased mercilessly in school by the rugby players and must deal with his homophobic mother. He is also tortured by his crush on Jonathon, one of the rugby players. However, everything changes when he receives the role of Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. While rehearsing his lines, he stumbles upon a love potion formula. He uses it to turn everyone in the town gay and to make Jonathon fall in love with him.

The movie is punctuated with musical numbers that bring to mind more Baz Luhrmann than High School Musical. The movie definitely is a homage to Midsummer with an ethereal lightness that gives the movie a dream-like atmosphere. Tanner Cohen does an amazing job as Timothy, as does Wendie Robie who plays the English teacher who directs the play and mentors Timothy. Nathaniel David Becker plays the lustworthy Jonathon and does an excellent job singing in the movie. Gay or straight, this is definitely a worthwhile add the Netflix queue. 4 stars.

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