‘G.B.F.’: a light, winning gay-best-friend teen comedy
A three-star movie review of “G.B.F.,” a satirical comedy concerning a closeted gay teen who is suddenly outed and embraced by social-climbing girls as a faddish accessory.
Special to The Seattle Times
‘G.B.F.,’ with Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Jonathan Silverman, Natasha Lyonne, Megan Mullally. Directed by Darren Stein, from a screenplay by George Northy. 92 minutes. Rated R for sexual references. Pacific Place.
Rarely has the meaninglessness of the MPAA ratings system been more glaring than in the R rating given to bouncy high-school comedy “G.B.F.” for “sexual references.”
Without a hint of nudity, four-letter words or sexual images, the film’s only apparent barrier to the teen audience “G.B.F.” is meant to entertain and gently enlighten are a few commonly used initials designating sex acts that never actually happen on screen.
It’s a shame kids will have a hard time seeing “G.B.F.” in theaters because it’s a frothy satire about adolescent social manners, a bit like “Clueless” or a tongue-in-cheek take on the 1980s-’90s “Degrassi” television series.
The clever screenplay by George Northy concerns a closeted gay teen, Tanner (Michael J. Willett), who is unwittingly outed and embraced as a faddish accessory by social-climbing straight girls. Three would-be prom queens (Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore) vie for Tanner’s time and attention, treating him more like a must-have mascot than an actual peer.
Happily, a bit of consciousness-raising ensues, and by film’s end, everyone is more genuine. Straight/gay equality becomes no big deal when worked out on a dance floor.
Paul Iacano brings much to the film’s arch flavor as Tanner’s gay best friend, Brent, while a sharp supporting cast adds extra tautness to director Darren Stein’s superb comic tone.
It’s nice that a few scenes are shared with some “adult” actors, among them Jonathan Silverman, Natasha Lyonne and, above all, Megan Mullally as Brent’s well-meaning mom. Mullally’s hilarious, ceaseless patter during a home screening of “Brokeback Mountain” is reason enough to see this movie.
Tom Keogh: firstname.lastname@example.org