DIRECTOR:                     SIMON SHORE
COUNTRY:                     GREAT BRITAIN 1998
MUSIC:                           John Lunn
CAST:                             Ben Silverstone, Brad Gordon, Charlotte Brittain, Louise J. Taylor, Tim Harris, James D. White, Patrick Nielsen
SUPER FEATURES: Excellently written, and very well made.

(Seen at the 22nd Portland International Film Festival, in Portland, Oregon)

Despite what might be considered a rather taboo subject for many people, there is one ting that transcends it all, when it comes to the art of film making. Some films just are so well made and directed that it is impossible to even dislike it, in spite of the subject matter that nears the area where every parent really hates to hear about it, much less deal with it.

Yet, in the capable hands of a director with a magnificent sense of purpose and design, a film that could very easily have fallen into a melodramatic and silly film, where the social points of view take precedence over the quality of the spirit, and the desire to be honest with oneself and his friends. This film stands up so very well, that it should teach us a lesson in what is the meaning of love and understanding of self during those moments. Rarely has a film deal with one subject, let alone two, and done it so impressively.

GET REAL is the story of a young man, who realizes early that he is gay, but he is not really sure what to do or go about it. And the other young man he happens to come to like, is a bit of a jock, and has some serious problems that he has a hard time dealing with. He may walk away with the sports award for the year, but he does not get the top award which is his knowledge and understanding of self, and therefore the ability to feel free about his spirit and self amidst his classmates.

In between the first and last moments of the film are some rather satisfying and pleasant lines and situations that help the film along. It is funny, without being ridiculous and it is serious without being over the top. Directed with care and attention to detail and balance, this simple film, becomes a major staple and representative for a generation that is having a hard time dealing with its films. And if this is not enough, it takes a gutsy mother to accept things first, and help settle the crap down once and for all.

if this is not enough, the performances are excellent, and specially strong and helpful in this film are the three women that help the whole thing go forward. Linda, a bit over weight, but a close friend to Steven, is a special treat. and she provides the breaks when we need them, even if they are at the funniest of moments, during a dance. And later, a girl that starts to like Steven, but is not aware of his predicament, also help
forward the story rather nicely into its major conclusion and triumphant end.

While many may be shocked by the content and some people did walk out of the theater, the fact remains that these things are there and as much a part of school life as they are a part of society. Were we better able to handle it when it takes place in our younger days, we might have had a society that is less guilt ridden and more accepting of those who have different feelings of affection for members of the wrong sex. This film deals with these things rather carefully but never gives up, and makes sure that the total honesty and beauty survive to win.

Few people have that much in guts and honesty about themselves and their lives. This film is not the answer, but it goes a long way in helping people understand themselves and their personal feelings, at a time, when repression and lies seems to be the one thing that most concern themselves with. Kudos all around. Specially the magnificent casting and use of the actors. Not for many moments do we get the feeling that we are dealing with generic characters, and the script helps them all come through. It's hard to believe that anyone can ask for more in a film.

The film also makes magnificent use of various music, and also has a very well designed cinematographic stand, which is designed to help lighten up the moments in such a way as for us to find them human, and not corny. How's that for excellent design in direction?

4.5 of 5 GIBLOONS




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