Were the world full of little movies like this one
"Were the World Mine," Tom Gustafson's magical and often enchanting gay musical fantasy, is about a teen (Tanner Cohen) who discovers a magical love potion while in his school's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Seattle Times movie critic
"Were the World Mine," with Tanner Cohen, Wendy Robie, Judy McLane, Zelda Williams, Jill Larson, Ricky Goldman. Directed by Tom Gustafson, from a screenplay by Cory James Krueckeberg and Gustafson. 96 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. Varsity.
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What if a teenage boy discovered a magic liquid that, if squirted into an unsuspecting eye, would cause that person not only to fall in love with the first person they behold, but also to instantly acquire a vast array of quotes from Shakespeare? That's the irresistible premise of "Were the World Mine," Tom Gustafson's magical and often enchanting gay musical fantasy, complete with dancing rugby players and a rock-opera finale.
Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is an often lonely gay teen, picked on by the other boys at his extremely well-groomed prep school. (To quote the great Libby Gelman-Waxner on "Dead Poets Society," the boys all look like Audrey Hepburn in a blazer.) Inspired by the drama teacher (Wendy Robie), he joins the cast of the school's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as the fairy Puck. A few squirts of a magic flower later, and suddenly the entire all-male cast is eyeing each other with lovestruck gazes — and the crusty athletic coach falls, hard, for the school principal. The course of true love, indeed, never did run smooth.
Though the movie's idea is inspired, the execution is a little bumpy; particularly, a few of the actors seem to be pitching their performances to the back row of a theater rather than to the camera's intimate eye. But "Were the World Mine" gets by on sheer charm — and on Gustafson's inventive direction, Kira Kelly's elegant cinematography and co-screenwriter Cory James Krueckeberg's whimsical production design, which works wonders on a limited budget. Timothy's fairy wings (made, in a nice detail, by his divorced mom out of her wedding dress) float like gentle cobwebs in the light.
Were the world mine — yes, it's a phrase from "Midsummer" — I'd like to see more movies like this, flaws and all. Gustafson, who based the film on his award-winning short film "Fairies," isn't afraid to let his love for the project shine through. For him, it's clearly a dream come true.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725
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