›› Get Real ‹‹

a film by Simon Shore.

1998 | 108 mins | UK.

a refreshingly honest depiction of getting real with your sexuality.

Dave says:

Adapted by Patrick Wilde from his play What's Wrong with Angry?, this refreshingly honest depiction of coming out within the English education system of today tells the story of Steven Carter (Ben Silverstone); a likeable sixteen-year-old and your typical fun-loving teenager. Only the fun that this boy is partial to is of the cottaging kind, ever eager to sample the facilities on offer at his local park, game as he is for some, shall we say - hands on tuition.

And therein lies the problem, given officially straight Head Boy John Dixon (Brad Gorton); aka star of the school athletic team and a man expected by his parents to be heading straight to Oxford or Cambridge University come the end of term, is also present that day. Surprised by their cubicle encounter, the two nevertheless strike up a relationship away from the park, one that goes beyond mere friendship. Only in his desire to finally be his homosexual self to one and all, the question beckons whether Steven is prepared to sacrifice the love of a man who is anything but willing to show the world the true nature of his sexuality.

As far removed as you can get from the urban fairytale scenario of the Jonathan Harvey classic Beautiful Thing, this work notably depicts how the act of coming out for one, can have massive implications by way of association, for another. To that end, Silverstone and Gorton play their parts purposely raw-edged style, being indicative of a non-stereotypical portrayal of boys who like boys. Yet it's Charlotte Brittain as Steven's best friend Linda who effortlessly steals the show, being the big girl with a big heart to match and who along the way, has some of the best lines in the film.

Comical one moment, only to be dramatic the next, this is but a pure delight, even if there's a few negatives annoyingly found in the narrative mix and in particular the scene when John all but comes out to his bigoted best friend Kevin (Tim Harris), when both John and Steven are seen by him having fun together in the swimming pool; a sequence that belies the intelligence of a young man who must surely has figured out the sexual ramifications of the situation. That said, this remarkably down-to-earth feature wonderfully balances the issues of coming out to yourself, let alone to your friends and family, against the threat and sadly the bitter reality for all too many, of classroom taunts and homophobic bullying. Only in doing so, it takes time out to address the plight of those in the sporting arena who, whether due to career prospects, sponsorship deals or sheer personal ambition, find it difficult, if near impossible, to be openly gay. But then and as this wondrous work vividly demonstrates, is it ever that easy to get real with your sexuality?

›› check out the Official Trailer on YouTube.
›› revised: Saturday, 2nd January, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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